“Cell use while driving crashes are typically higher force and produce more fatalities and more serious injuries than other types of collisions,”
Cell use while driving behaviors, including running red lights at full speed, swerving into oncoming traffic and rear-ending stopped vehicles, are currently producing the most severe injuries and fatalities, Horn says.
Horn is calling on both state and federal highway department officials to initiate comprehensive public awareness campaigns designed to educate all drivers about “the new universe of risk” created by cell use while driving -- a universe which includes the ever-increasing probability of being seriously injured or killed in high-speed, high-impact highway collisions.
“Studies have shown that drivers freely admit that cell use while driving carries a substantial risk, but the dilemma for safety advocates is that these same drivers continue to engage in distracted driving habits and behaviors when they get behind the wheel,” Horn says.
Horn says the cell use while driving epidemic is not only being fueled by texting teens, but also by a growing number of adults who drive while simultaneously conducting business using their smart phones.
“Most adults have the idea that they are superior drivers and therefore better able than teens to multitask behind the wheel without compromising their own safety or the safety of other drivers,” Horn says. “But recent multi-million-
Horn, who recently shared his ideas on distracted driving prevention with other highway safety experts at the Governors Highway Safety Association's 2012 Conference in Baltimore, says that the current emphasis being placed on writing and passing new legislation prohibiting cell use while driving will not, on its own, produce a meaningful decrease in cell use while driving.
“In addition to legislation, lasting improvement to our current driving culture can only be accomplished by educating the general public about the real risks presented to them by distracted drivers each time they use the highway,” Horn says.
He is confident that once informed of the dangers of cell use while driving, the public will take the necessary steps to protect themselves, their passengers and other motorists.
“A well-designed public safety campaign, which reaches out and educates all drivers – not just teen drivers -- will not only help effectively curb distracted driving, but it can also be used to diminish other types of dangerous driver behaviors on the highway, including aggressive driving and impaired driving,” Horn says.
About Douglas R. Horn and Drive By Example (www.drivebyexample.com)
Douglas R. Horn, founder of The Horn Law Firm, P.C., is a Kansas City lawyer concentrating in motor vehicle accident law and crash litigation. As a recognized expert in distracted driving prevention with a keen interest in driver safety issues, he devotes a significant part of his time bringing attention to America’s distracted driving epidemic through corporate seminars and media appearances. He is the founder and director of Drive By Example, an organization dedicated to improving America’s driving culture through education and public safety awareness campaigns.