According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 25 percent of fatal accidents can be attributed to negligent motorists. In spite of a bill being presented every year for the past several sessions, lawmakers have failed put the brakes on distracted driving accidents. This year, there is hope that lawmakers will take definitive steps to outlaw handheld devices while driving.
Approximately 11 teenagers die in the United States every day due to texting while driving. In spite of this grim statistic, only 16 states have passed measures that ban drivers from using any electronic devices while driving. Minnesota has a law that bans texting and driving, but many say this does not go far enough. The current bill that has been presented to the state legislature calls for a complete ban on all hand-held devices.
The current bill is purportedly receiving strong support. It seeks to outlaw anything other than hands-free functions of all electronic devices. There are some who do not believe that even this step does not go far enough as many drivers are unable to resist using a cell phone as long as it remains within reach. There are an estimated 421,000 people who are injured in a distracted driving crash annually. Of that number, more than 330,000 of them are attributed to texting and driving.
Nearly 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge that texting and driving is a dangerous activity; sadly, an estimated 35 percent of them admit that they still do it. It is unknown what penalties Minnesota motorists would face if the latest bill were to become law. However, for the countless families who have lost loved ones, there is no punishment great enough to make up for the losses they have suffered. Families who have been tragically impacted by distracted driving accidents may elect to seek recovery of their financial losses through civil litigation efforts.