In 2018, traffic fatalities increased by 22% in New Hampshire. Despite New Hampshire’s hands-free driving law, distracted driving continues to cause fatalities. Distracted driving temptations abound. More people than ever are plugged into electronic devices during and after the workday. The constant use of electronics makes it challenging for people to focus completely on driving.
Distracted Driving can Result in Severe Injuries
A Temple, New Hampshire woman suffered severe injuries caused by distracted driving in December 2018. A distracted driver caused the accident that resulted in her severe injuries. Seven months after the accident, she is still recovering from her injuries, which include multiple broken bones, making her unable to put weight on both of her legs. She is now focusing her efforts on passing more stringent laws that prevent distracted driving. This example demonstrates how devastating accidents caused by distracted driving can be. One accident can result in a recovery that lasts months or even years.
New Hampshire’s Distracted Driving Law
According to one New Hampshire police department, distracted driving is the cause of many fatal crashes. A driver who texts while driving is 23 times more likely to cause a car accident. Holding an electronic device while driving is becoming the number one type of distracted driving in New Hampshire. Sending a single text message causes a driver to be distracted for nearly five seconds.
In an attempt to curb the amount of distracted driving, New Hampshire enacted a distracted driving law called the Hands Free Law in 2015. This law prohibits drivers from using any handheld mobile electronic device while driving or while stopped in traffic. New Hampshire enacted this law in an attempt to curb deaths and injuries resulting from distracted driving.
The New Hampshire State police have claimed that New Hampshire’s Hands-Free Law has led to a decrease in distracted driving fatalities. However, distracted driving accidents still take place in New Hampshire. It is difficult to know how many people are still fatally injured in distracted driving incidents because the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles does not record the distracted driving in its fatal crash records. While the law may help curb distracted driving deaths, unfortunately, some drivers continue to drive while distracted.