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Increase of texting while driving in Iowa despite the ban

Many dangers exist on the roadways. Negligent divers cause many of these risks and dangers. When a driver makes the choice to speed, get behind the wheel intoxicated, fail to follow the rules of the road or engage in distracting activities, they could cause a serious or even fatal accident. A distracted driver can be lethal on the roadway, and an unsuspecting victim could suffer greatly.

In 2011, the Iowa Department of Transportation enacted legislature that banned texting while driving. Despite their efforts to reduce accidents caused by this distracting habit, a recent report discovered that the law has done nothing to reduce crashes caused by cellphone use.

Investigation revealed that only 2.5 drivers were convicted per county last year for texting while driving. While the texting while driving accident rate continues to rise, the rate of distracted driving is not accurately known. This is because these events are not often reported after a crash. Currently, Iowa laws prohibit the use of a cell phone to send, receive or read a text or email while driving. It is also one of four states that do not enforce the texting ban and a primary offence.

While other states have passed stricter bans that also include the strict ban of all hand-held cellphone usage while driving, Iowa lawmakers do not currently have the support to update the current laws. Because the rate of distracted driving has risen in the state and an average of 7,000 cellphone related crashes occurred statewide during the past decade, possible changes could occur down the road.

When a person is injured or killed by a distracted driver, the victim and that person's loved ones could suffer a lot of pain. Civil suits could be filed to recover compensation. A monetary award could be used to cover expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and other damages.

Due to the constant need to be connected to the world via technology, the growing concern for cellphone use behind the wheel is ever increasing reality. A distracted driver could easily and suddenly cause a serious accident. Those involved or affected by the crash should understand their options and possible legal remedies. A civil action could help them alleviate financial hardships caused by the distracted driver.

Source: Quad-City Times, "Iowa's texting-while-driving ban isn't reducing crashes," Sarah Hadley, June 9, 2014

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