No More Excuses for Hand-held Cell Phones in Washington State

As of tomorrow –July 23, 2017 — it will be against the law for Washington State drivers to use hand-held cell phones while they are driving. This applies to all electronic devices, including tablets, laptops and video games. Tickets for driving while using hand-held electronics will go on a driver’s record and be reported to their insurance provider:

Even if you’re stopped at a light;

Or your kid is texting you;

Or you just need to check the score;

Or tell someone you’re running late.

Photo of an attractive bridge in the scenically beautiful Washington State.
Washington State, in the north west corner of the USA is wonderful for scenic drives and is also very actively fighting road deaths. Copyright image.

For further information on the new law, see:

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America

Many cell phone drivers say they wouldn’t quit calling even if they caused a crash

Forty percent of drivers say that even if they caused a collision, it would not stop them using cell phones while driving, according to new research.

Photo of driver usings a hand-held cell phone at the wheel.
Not only using a hand-held cell phone while driving but also at an intersection and with an arm across the driver’s airbag due to one-handed steering. So a collision is more likely, as are greater injuries because of the bad steering. (The drivers face is deliberately blurred.)  Copyright image.

You can read much more about this research, and the fact that it is from the RAC  in Britain, should by no means lead to it being dismissed as irrelevant in the USA simply because it’s not from America.  Clearly, problems of this nature are immensely dangerous worldwide and we should all be looking to learn from our international contemporaries.

The excessively high proportion of drivers who make this outrageous claim that even causing a collision wouldn’t stop them making calls when driving needs to be taken very seriously indeed.  It is in some ways similar to the old attitude towards drunk driving in Britain but a persistent and calculated programme to defeat the problems from drinking and driving has proved extremely successful at changing the overall attitude in the UK so this would appear to be the route we need to follow once more.

Since March 1, 2017, drivers in Britain have faced stricter penalties for illegal handheld phone use, with both the higher fine of £200 (US $260) and number of penalty points being doubled to six (meaning that anyone caught committing this offence twice within a three-year period would almost certainly be disqualified/suspended from driving).

Protect Yourself from Red Light Runners & Distracted Drivers

This video is a classic example of someone who doesn’t even notice that a traffic light has been on red for a significant time.

Such behavior is commonly indicative of distracted driving.  Bear in mind that hard braking or swerving under these sort of circumstances might stop your car being hit by the red light runner but equally might result in you having a collision with a third vehicle.  So the rather obvious question is how do you and/or your employees protect yourselves from being in a collision in any circumstances similar to this if — in this instance — you are one of the drivers who is making a left turn?

Such issues are just one small but important part of our multi-faceted defensive and advanced driving courses at Advanced Drivers of North America, Inc.  Contact us for more details.

The video is courtesy of the City of Lakewood, WA, where this incident was filmed.