As of January 1, 15 states now require ignition interlock devices to be installed onto any vehicle owned by a motorist with at least one drunk driving conviction. The growing trend among states is part of a nationwide push by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which is ramping up its efforts to force the adoption of laws that will reduce car accidents caused by drunk drivers.
When queried by newspaper reporters following a vehicle crash in a small town in the south central region of Ohio, motorists, tow truck drivers, road construction workers and emergency responders readily stated what is an increasingly prevalent view in Ohio and elsewhere throughout the country: Distracted driving is routinely the direct cause of car accidents, it is ever-present on roadways, and knowing how common it is makes them fearful when they are out on the road.
As recently reported in the Detroit News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started investigations into older General Motors and Ford vans and minivans.
The view of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on cell phone use while driving is well known.
This time of year in Ohio, weather and winter driving are invariably in the news in some fashion. Stories range from reports on driving conditions that are especially conducive to car accidents and other motor vehicle mishaps to the roll out of annual drunk driving campaigns, and from safety reminders concerning winter vehicle maintenance to the need for motorists to watch for deer.
Engineers and scientists at Vaisala, a Finland company that produces environmental measurement products, recently announced the development of a sensor system for roadways that could reduce the number of car accidents each year.
"Today's teenagers make no secret about the fact that they want to stay connected to their social networks and enjoy text messaging," notes David Strickland, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The number of car accidents rises as traffic congestion increases and, following the souring 2008 economy and its lingering aftereffects that have kept more people home in recent years, motorists are once again venturing out in higher numbers on the road. That assessment comes from Bevi Powell, an East Central spokesperson for the AAA auto group.
The precisely worded laws in the various states that apply to texting while driving will likely be under close scrutiny and reconsideration following the recent advent of technologies that allow for voice-activated texting commands.
Ohio has a lot of military veterans, including a sizable number of service members who are either back home on deployment or have returned permanently from combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.