Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) January 15, 2014
Drinking and driving kills 2,700 teens in the U.S. every year, according to an in-depth report released today by Ankin Law Office. Texting while driving kills 3,000. These statistics make up only part of a larger, more gruesome picture and they highlight the fact that both drinking and texting can have deadly consequences for drivers.
Public health advocates and concerned citizens have been fighting to reduce the rates of drunk driving for decades, but texting, app use and other smartphone activities are a relatively new phenomenon and their effects aren’t yet fully understood by the public.
“We’ve come to take drunk driving very seriously in the U.S., but many people still view texting while driving as a much smaller problem,” says Howard Ankin, attorney and owner of Ankin Law Office. “The truth is, at any given time during the day around 660,000 drivers are speeding down the road while using a cell phone. The threat this poses to everyone on the road is very, very real.”
That threat is even more serious for teenage drivers. In fatal accidents involving drivers under the age of 20, 11% were reported as distracted by devices like cell phones when the accident occurred. Among drivers aged 15 to 19, 21% were distracted by cell phones at the time of their crashes. Despite these statistics, half of high school students admit that they text behind the wheel.
When it comes to legislation, surveys show that 90% of drivers support laws banning texting while driving, while 80% of drivers support some restrictions on any cell phone use while behind the wheel.
“Despite the strong support for these laws, the laws and the punishments for breaking them are different from state to state,” says Ankin. “That’s why it’s important that drivers know the laws in each state – so they can be safe and protect themselves at the same time.”
The report also shares details on laws in individual states regarding drunk and distracted driving. However, how effective these laws are at deterring these activities is an issue that’s still up for debate. In a national survey on distracted driving, 57% of boys said they text while driving in states that prohibit it, compared to the 59% who said they text while driving in states that do not.
The report is available in full and accompanied with a detailed infographic on the Ankin Law Office website. To read the full report and access a code that allows you to repost and share the infographic online visit http://www.ankinlaw.com. To schedule an interview with Howard Ankin, email alaynafrankenberry (at) gmail (dot) com