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As Rate Of Distracted Driving Crashes Goes Up, Tougher Legislation Is Signed Into Law

Distracted driving is a serious problem not only in the whole United States, but in Washington as well. So much so that lawmakers decided to take a bold stance against distracted driving by making sure that the laws are tough enough that drivers will have no incentives to use their phones while behind the wheel.

As a state, Washington has, since the beginning of the smartphone hysteria, been the first to look at the problem from a legal perspective. In 2007, the Evergreen state was the first to pass a law that banned texting while behind the wheel. Nevertheless, the law at the time didn’t mention activities such as using the technology to use Twitter, iTunes, or other apps like Facebook.

With the piece of legislation signed earlier this week by Gov. Jay Inslee, holding a phone or any other electronic while behind the wheel will be enough to lead to a penalty.

As the number of deaths caused by distracted driving continues to rise nationwide, Washington sees an increase that many states have yet to deal with. In 2015, 3,477 people died nationwide because of distracted driving. In Washington, that number was at 171. In 2014, 130 people died in Washington under the same circumstances. The percentage of deaths caused by distracted driving when compared to all other causes combined is also scary, as 30 percent of all 2015 fatal collisions in the state were caused by distracted drivers.

What many do not realize is that even after Washington passed a distracted driving law, drivers continued to stay distracted. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s latest study, 9.2 percent of drivers across the state were distracted in January and at least 5.6 percent of those were using phones while behind the wheel.

With this new law, perhaps, drivers will be less likely to be involved in crashes as they won’t be as likely to become distracted while operating a vehicle. If you’re driver, remember that this new piece of legislation does not let you manipulate your phone while driving under any circumstance, so act accordingly and remain safe by putting your phone down and avoiding any serious collisions by leaving that text message for later.

For more on this new law, follow this link.

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