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Congress Considers Bill Regulating Cell Phone Use While Driving

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 13, 2011

A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representative that would set federal standards for using cell phones while driving and may ban their use altogether in many situations, according to a recent article in The Detroit Free Press.

The bill is called the Safe Drivers Act of 2011. Introduced by U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, it would require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to create regulations that ban the use of cell phones while driving except in certain emergency and similar situations. The bill does not ban the use of hands-free devices to talk on cell phones while driving, however. If the bill passes, states will have two years to change their laws to meet the DOT standards or will risk losing up to 25 percent of their federal highway funding.

Rep. McCarthy says she introduced the bill because accidents caused by distracted driving, including talking, texting, and using smartphone apps, are increasing nationwide. These accidents can cause severe injury and even death. A recent study conducted at the University of Utah found that drivers who are texting are impaired from driving safely or making smart decisions as much as if they had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent – the legal limit for drunk driving.

Distracted driving claims thousands of lives on U.S. roads each year. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Washington distracted driver accident lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. We will fight to protect your legal rights and to help you hold any negligent parties accountable for their actions. For a free consultation, call Hardwick & Pendergast today at 888-228-3860.

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