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National study shows need for new approach to distracted driving

Everyone with a driver's license in Wyomissing knows that when they are behind the wheel, they need to pay attention to the road. It goes without saying that drivers need to avoid distractions as much as possible, yet more and more people are buying smartphones and trying to use them while they are driving. Although Pennsylvania bans all texting while driving, if the state's numbers are at all similar to the national average, the law doesn't seem to be working.

According to a survey completed by State Farm earlier this year, there has been an increase in drivers over 30 using smartphones to surf the Internet while driving. While the sheer number of older drivers with smartphones is skyrocketing, the percentage of people who web browse while driving has also climbed, reaching 24 percent in 2013.

So, what does this mean to drivers in Wyomissing? Instead of only teaching younger drivers to avoid distracted driving, communities need to remind adults of the danger, too. Whether adults think they are better drivers or that they are better multitaskers is irrelevant. If they are distracted drving, they are putting everyone's lives at risk.

State Farm has said that there needs to be more than just legislation to stop distracted driving. Approaching the problem from several angles, the insurance provider believes, will better reduce this dangerous practice. One way to tackle distracted driving may be through techological advances.

Although technology that disables a driver's phone while he or she is driving may be an effective tool, it does little to stop deadly crashes right now. Instead, one deterrent may be the threat of expensive personal injury or wrongful death litigation following an accident. If drivers think they will be forced to pay their potential accident victims, they may be ready to put the phone down.

Source: Source: Insurance Journal, “Older Drivers Catching Up with Younger in Distracted Driving: Survey,” Nov. 12, 2013

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