Although there’s still lots to do in terms of bringing an end to hand-held cell phone use while driving in Michigan, the state does have a texting while driving ban which prohibits reading, typing or sending text messages using a wireless two-way communication device in a person’s hand or lap while driving a car.
Here’s the statute.
Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What is it?
Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.
Michigan law prohibits texting while driving, for a first offense, motorists are fined $100.
Subsequent offenses cost $200.
There are three main types of distracted driving in Michigan:
- Visual – taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – taking your mind off of what you’re doing
Distracted Driving in Michigan activities include:
- Using a cell phone and/or texting
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a PDA or navigation system
- Watching a video
- Changing the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.
Focus on the task at hand – driving:
- Get familiar with vehicle features and equipment before pulling out into traffic.
- Preset radio stations, MP3 devices, and climate control.
- Secure items that may move around when the car is in motion. Do not reach down or behind the seat to pick up items.
- Do not text, access the Internet, watch videos, play video games, search MP3 devices, or use any other distracting technology while driving.
- Avoid smoking, eating, drinking, and reading while driving.
- Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children.
- Do personal grooming at home-not in the vehicle.
- Review maps and driving directions before hitting the road.
- Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving.
- Ask a passenger to help with activities that may be distracting.
- If driving long distances, schedule regular stops, every 100 miles or two hours.
- Travel at times when you are normally awake and stay overnight rather than driving straight through.
- Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you drowsy.
Courses To Help Professionals and Driver Learn About Distracted Driving in Michigan
This course, offered by Gerber Collision and Auto, is designed to help you understand the scope of the problem distracted driving has become.
It is driving up the number of claims you are processing but worse, it is creating fatalities which leave families devastated forever.
We intend to provide you an education that will benefit you and your policyholder.
Today’s vehicles are complex and it is important that the collision repair shop, insurance company, insurance adjuster, insurance agent and customer are communicating in tandem.
It is also imperative that as professionals, we communicate important driving tips that may prevent harm to your insured’s.
This is an open forum, hopefully we can learn a lot from each other.
Distracted Driving in Michigan Impacts Insurance Costs
General Facts About Distracted Driving
- The proportion of fatalities reportedly associated with driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009.
- The portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
- In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
- 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
- Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashes, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
- The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)