Smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices are ubiquitous in today’s society. However, an unintended consequence of having affordable mobile technology at one’s fingertips is that people in Bridgeport, Connecticut, may use it to text, search the web, update Facebook, read incoming text messages and more while driving a car. In fact, nearly 71 percent of teens and young adults indicated that they drafted and sent a text message while driving. Additionally, nearly 78 percent stated that they read a text message they had received while driving.

According to the U.S Department of Transportation, over 3,300 people lost their lives in distracted driving car accidents in 2012. Even though fatal crashes due to distracted driving decreased between 2011 and 2012, the United States experienced a nine percent increase in car accidents due to distracted driving. Texting and driving is one example of distracted driving, and it generally refers to any activity which takes away the attention of the operator of a vehicle from the main task of driving the vehicle. In response to the distracted driving epidemic, most states including Connecticut have enacted laws to prevent texting and driving by banning it altogether and making it an offense.

Currently in the Nutmeg State it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held device and this includes engaging in telephone calls, reading, sending and typing a text message. In addition to a ban on the use of handheld devices for all drivers, Connecticut law bans the use of all cell phone use for bus drivers and new or novice drivers. Texting and driving is banned for all drivers.

Connecticut law takes distracted driving very seriously. Sadly despite the current law, however, car accidents due to distracted driver routinely happen causing serious injuries and some cases even death.

Source: Connecticut General Assembly, “§14-296aa – Use of hand-held mobile telephones and mobile electronic devices by motor vehicle operators and school bus drivers prohibited or restricted,” accessed Jan. 19, 2015