Roadways have become more dangerous because of in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in 2015 blamed 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries on forms of distracted driving that included talking or texting on a phone, adjusting an entertainment console, or operating a navigation system. Such technology features add to the existing forms of distracted driving like eating and conversing with passengers.
This issue has garnered attention at state capitals across the country with laws banning or limiting the operation of electronic devices while driving. To date, 47 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving and several states have adopted more stringent measures regarding use of handheld devices.
In addition to the perils of distracted driving, impaired driving continues to threaten the safety of roads. According to NHTSA, 28 people in the United States die each day in an alcohol-related vehicle crash and a cost of $52 billion is attributed to these deaths and damages.
NAMIC supports prohibitions on the use of handheld devices and text messaging while driving. NAMIC also encourages further development of technology to block such devices from operation while the vehicle is in motion. Laws designed to make roadways safer benefit our members’ policyholders as well as the driving public and pedestrians.
NAMIC is a member of the board of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and strongly supports that organization’s numerous safety initiatives that include laws on the implementation of tougher impaired-driving provisions. NAMIC supports the Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-related Fatalities Everywhere Act (also called the ROADS SAFE Act), which authorizes $12 million in annual funding for the NHTSA to develop in-vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving. NAMIC also stands behind efforts at the state level to reduce drunk-driving fatalities and injuries.