On October 1, a new law goes into effect in Massachusetts that is hoped to reduce dangerous driving in the state.
The Safe Driver law bans texting while driving, and bans drivers under the age of 18 from operating a vehicle while using any electronic device, even with a “hands-free” device. Additionally, the law requires drivers over 75 years of age to renew their licenses in person at a Registry of Motor Vehicles office and take a vision test.
Texting while driving requires the driver to look away from the roadway, which even when done briefly may cost the driver valuable seconds in reacting to conditions in the roadway, such as a vehicle suddenly stopping in front of his/her car, or a child running into the roadway.
The further restrictions on younger drivers allows them to focus more on the road while they are still less experienced with handling the suddenly-changing conditions encountered while driving.
There are three main facets of distracted driving:
Any of these three could cause a delay in your reaction to an emergency in front of you; texting does all three. We’ve all been driving and have suddenly noticed someone running a red light, or a bicyclist dodging through traffic, and had to react quickly to avoid an accident. If your attention is not on the road, your chances of noticing and reacting to an unanticipated obstacle or person in the road in front of you decrease significantly. The University of Utah conducted a study that indicated that use of a cell phone while driving, even with a hands-free device, delayed a driver’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol content of .08 percent.
In 2008, nearly 20% of crashes in the U.S. involved some type of distraction (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration). Many states in the country have similar laws, and students and employees traveling to Connecticut should know that that state bans use of cellular devices unless a handheld device is used.
Safe Driving Practices:
IMPORTANT Information if you are Driving College Vehicles, or Driving on Behalf of the College:
If you drive a College vehicle or drive on behalf of the College, the College bans any use of handheld devices, even with a hands-free device. Read more at:
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