Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Distracted Driving

In May 2010, Michigan joined other states in passing a ban on texting while driving. Now some states like New York, Oregon, and California are considering passing laws banning use of mobile phones, iPods, or other electronic devices for pedestrians crossing streets and for bicyclists. Studies have found that distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in an auto accident 

See http://www.michiganautoaccident.com/Practice-Area/Teen-Driver-Accidents.shtml. This makes me wonder how much more likely is it for a pedestrian or bicyclist to make a fatal misstep while being distracted by a text from a friend. It constantly amazes me when driving through Ann Arbor and seeing a group of University of Michigan students walking through intersections with their head down and eyes focused on reading their cell phone. Unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities increased slightly for the first time in 4 years in the first 6 months of 2010 according to a report released last week by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Further studies need to be done on whether this increase is due to more distracted / multi-tasking pedestrians crossing busy intersections. If the increase in pedestrian fatalities continue to climb, Michigan legislators may follow other states in passing laws in an attempt to make Michigan traffic intersections safer for pedestrians and ban the use of using electronic devices while crossing the street. 

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