Being charged with a traffic violation offense and slapped with a fine are already heavy penalties; these are not all, though, for there are still the demerit points that give drivers that added painful sting. Demerit points differ with the type and severity of the violation committed. While some violations are given 1 or 2 points demerit, others are given up to 6 points.
In some states, a total of 12 points demerit can result to suspension of driving privileges and higher car insurance premium. Attempting to elude an officer, DUI and reckless driving are violations that usually get the highest demerit points. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA), coincidentally, has also identified drunk-driving and reckless driving as among the major causes of car accidents that result either in severe injuries or death. Other causes of car accidents are overspeeding, failure to wear a seatbelt and distracted driving. But just as it appears that the strict and consistent implementation of traffic laws directed against drunk drivers, reckless drivers and speedsters are finally earning favorable results, another violation is consistently making itself a new threat on the road, causing more and more accidents every year – distracted driving.
Cell phone use while behind the wheel is considered the worst and most dangerous type of distraction for drivers and, on a daily basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,153 people are injured and 9 are killed due to it. Because of the great risk cell phone use puts innocent motorists and pedestrians into, the state of New York, particularly, deemed it necessary to increase demerit points for violation of texting while driving ban from 3 to 5 (this change became effective on June 1, 2013).
States vary with regard to the prohibition of cell phone use while driving. At least 44 states, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and D.C., ban text messaging for all drivers (but not talking on the phone), while 37 states plus D.C. prohibit any form of cell phone use by teen and new drivers – the ones mostly involved in car crashes resulting to injury or death (based on CDC and NHTSA records).
Driving distraction, however, is never limited to cell phone use, whether using it to text or talk with someone. There are many other forms of distractions that almost all drivers are guilty of, but without even noticing it. Anything that takes one’s eyes off the road, hand off the wheel, and/or mind off driving, like eating, talking with friends, talking on the phone (whether on a handheld or hands-free phone), adjusting a GPS or radio, applying make-up, and so forth, is a form of distraction.
A website with the address, www.zavodnicklaw.com, says that auto accidents occur frequently due to negligent or reckless driving. These accidents can lead to substantial injury, a lengthy recovery period, and piling medical bills that can threaten victims’ health and financial security.
Victims, who are left coping with the consequences of injuries, need the strongest legal assistance that will help them overcome the challenges resulting from their injury. This can only be done by holding the party responsible for their injuries accountable and being compensated for the injury they have been unjustly made to suffer.