Pls Dnt Txt n Drv sz Ato Axidnt Atny

In an effort to reduce traffic fatalities and serious accidents Michigan auto accident attorney Terry Cochran says all motorists need to be responsible and stop texting while driving.

While Michigan in 2010 enacted legislation banning texting while driving the law is not being broadly enforced yet statewide. Because enforcement of the law is challenging, Cochran urges voluntary compliance by all motorists.

"Far too many people have been killed or maimed for life because of thoughtless drivers who feel compelled to text while driving," says Cochran, "Michigan took the right step by banning texting while driving but it is challenging for police officers to spot violations so I urge all motorists to simply stop engaging in this deadly practice!"

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 20 percent of all injury crashes in 2009 involved distracted driving and in 2009 some 5,474 persons were killed and 448,000 injured in crashes involving distracted driving. Other studies show that:

* Motorists who engage in texting while driving are 23 times as likely to be involved in an accident that those who don't.

* Texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. A motorist texting while driving at 35 mph will travel 25 feet before bringing the car to a complete halt compared to four feet a drunk driver would cover at the same speed.

* A Pew Research study in 2010 shows that 47 percent of adult drivers admit to texting while driving compared to 34 percent of teenagers.

These findings and others convinced Oprah Winfrey to conduct a nationwide campaign in 2010 to persuade Americans to sign a No Phone Zone pledge to agree not to phone or text while driving. In response, more than 200,000 persons signed the pledge including more than 60 celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld, Morgan Freeman, Tina Fey and others.

Cochran also noted that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a strong advocate of measures to reduce accidents caused by distracted drivers, met with Ford and Chrysler CEOs on January 25, 2011, to discuss automotive safety technology related to driving distractions.

In January 2011 T-Mobile added the DriveSmart phone app as a trial to one of its phones that senses when the phone owner is in a moving car and then forwards to voice mail all income phone calls and text messages, eliminating the urge to pick up the phone while driving to read or return a text. 911 calls would not be blocked. T-Mobile plans to offer the app on several other devices.

"I am pleased that communication technology leaders have joined with Oprah to raise national awareness of the dangers of texting while driving in an effort to reduce the tragic consequences of this silly habit," adds Cochran. "Unfortunately, despite the practice being illegal in Michigan and several other states, the practice of texting while driving still continues to cause needless deaths and disabling injuries."

Cochran is making the appeal because of personal experience in dealing with families and survivors of persons killed by distracted drivers. Cochran obtained a $1.3 million judgment for a Marlette MI family whose son was killed in an accident caused by a truck driver who was distracted because of fatigue.

In the recent past Cochran also has campaigned for the Michigan Transportation Department to adopt an aggressive program to widen two-lane highways throughout areas to make high-speed travel safer for all as well as his campaign to lower the mandatory retirement age for truck drivers to 65.

Cochran is senior partner in Cochran, Foley & Associates PC, a firm specializing in auto accidents, personal liability, medical malpractice, and SSD/SSI appeals. For additional information, visit www.cochranfoley.com.

Published: Thu, Feb 17, 2011

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