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Attorney David Christensen of Christensen Law calls on Michigan drivers to stop distracted driving resulting from cell phone use. The push follows a rise in Michigan traffic fatalities — the highest since 2007.
Christensen Law founder David Christensen is concerned about the surprising increases in fatal traffic accidents in Michigan. 2016 was the first time in 10 years that traffic fatalities topped 1,000, hitting 1,047 by year end. Safer cars had led to decades of decline in fatal car crashes, but the recent increase in distracted driving promises to wipe those advances away.
Now Attorney David Christensen is speaking out, asking everyone–drivers, parents, and legislators–to do their part to limit distracted driving.
The responsibility for preventing distracted driving rests firmly on the shoulders of the motorists themselves.
“All drivers need to take responsibility for their own actions, and that includes putting away their cell phones and staying alert, giving their full attention to the one thing they are supposed to be doing—driving safely,” Christensen said.
Texting while driving has been illegal in Michigan since July 1, 2010, but most drivers may still legally talk on a cell phone using a hands-free interface. Any time distracted driving causes a traffic violation or auto accident, a motorist could find themselves facing careless driving charges, and the insurance points that go with that charge. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw has said it’s time to start paying attention on the roads.
“We’ve tried all kinds of different things from enforcement to a campaign ‘Get Your Head Out of Your App’, but these messages don’t seem to be working, and we really need to get the driving community to understand how quickly something can go bad and how you can lose your life or kill somebody else.”
Christensen suggests that drivers install apps like LifeSaver designed to restrict cell phone usage while driving. These apps can block distracting text messages and other notifications, to help drivers resist the urge to take their eyes off the road.
David Christensen and his fellow auto accident attorneys at Christensen Law have seen the life-changing and often tragic results of distracted driving accidents. They know that even 5 seconds looking at a text message can send a driver headed into a crash at full speed. That’s why they are urging Michigan law makers to move forward on legislation that would prohibit talking on a cell phone while driving.The state has considered similar laws in the past, but legislators have never been able to come together and pass the legislation.
Instead, local municipalities have been left to place their own restrictions on cell phone use. Detroit, for example, prohibits drivers’ cell phone use. This creates a patchwork of enforcement and leaves many drivers in the dark about distracted driving prohibitions. A state law, along with a safety campaign to support it, could make the difference and bring fatal car accidents back down where they should be.