Alabama residents face numerous dangers every time they take to the road. Whether as motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists, the negligent actions and poor decisions made by drivers of other vehicles can put innocent people at risk unnecessarily. In addition to drunk driving, speeding and other acts, distracted driving is becoming a primary concern around Alabama and the nation.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, as many as 5,000 deaths may be blamed on distracted driving each year in the United States. Based on traffic fatality statistics, that amounts to more than 15 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths.
Texting while driving may be the most commonly cited distraction but it is certainly not the only distracted that can lead to an accident. Talking on a phone, manipulating GPS or other navigation systems or even tending to children in a vehicle may also cause a driver to be less focused on the task of driving. Distractions may be cognitive, visual or manual in nature meaning that they take a driver's mind, eyes or hands away from driving.
In Alabama, Distraction.gov indicates that drivers with six or fewer months of driving who are 16 or 17 years old are not allowed to use phones while driving in any fashion whether hands-free or otherwise. Other drivers may use phones to make calls but there is a statewide ban on texting while driving for all drivers regardless of age or length of driving experience. These bans are primary laws meaning officers can stop drivers for these reasons alone.