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Cell Phone Ban Study Shows Reduction in California Fatal Car Accidents

California has seen a significant reduction in fatal car, truck and motorcycle accidents since a new state law banned hand-held cell phone use in 2008, according to study results recently released by the state Office of Traffic Safety (OTS).

March 30, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The dangerous role of distracted driving in truck, car and motorcycle accidents has been clearly established for years. The national effort to ban texting and other cell phone use by drivers is possibly the most important safety development since seat belt use became mandatory a generation ago.

California has seen a significant reduction in traffic deaths since a new state law banned hand-held cell phone use in 2008, according to study results recently released by the state Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Based on an analysis of state crash records before and after the ban went into effect, the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC-Berkeley found that vehicle accident fatalities decreased by 22 percent while deaths caused by drivers using hand-held cell phones went down an impressive 47 percent.

Highway safety advocates cite this as clear proof that the hand-held ban has reduced accident-related fatalities and injuries in California. Confirming data released in the study includes an OTS survey from 2011 in which 40 percent of respondents reported using phones less since the law went into effect.

Related information from the Department of Motor Vehicles showed that convictions for violating the phone ban have steadily increased since 2008, when the law went into effect. As most Californians know from the state's "It's Not Worth It!" campaign, a first offense ticket costs $159 and a subsequent offense leads to a $279 fine.

Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety, celebrated the result but cautioned that talking and texting while driving is still far too common. Murphy provided a sound reminder: "A good step for parents is to never call or text your kids if you think they might be driving."

Real Lives Saved by Prohibiting Distracted Driving Behaviors

California Sen. Joe Simitian, the author of the bill that finally became law after five attempts, told the San Jose Mercury News that the results are clear proof that the driving culture is changing: "The driving public understands that this is risky behavior, and most people are complying."

While a conviction for violation of the phone ban and/or other driving infractions is appropriate, that does not help the victim when that behavior causes a personal injury or wrongful death. Injury victims and surviving family members can discuss their options for pursuing compensation with a California car and truck accident attorney who handles catastrophic and fatal injury cases.

Article provided by Biren Katzman Trial Lawyers

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