Michigan uses a graduated licensing system and the new law would only target those drivers with a Level 1 or Level 2 graduated not license which has some saying it does not go nearly far enough to fight the rising dangers of distracted driving. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has been calling for all states to make texting while driving illegal for anyone who gets behind the wheel.
The NHTSA said studies have shown that distracted driving now accounts for more fatal crashes than any other type of impaired driving, including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Traffic school teaches everyone who successfully completes the course the importance of being fully aware of everything going on around you every time you get behind the wheel.
News flash: You are not fully aware if you are sending or receiving a text message or even just talking on the phone.
By limiting who can use their smartphone or handheld device while driving, Michigan lawmakers are at least acknowledging that they recognize there is inherent danger for some drivers who face distractions behind the wheel. The NHTSA wants that same sort of acknowledgement that distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, no matter how much experience they have behind the wheel.
In time, Michigan lawmakers and lawmakers around the country may finally recognize that they can make a dramatic impact on their constituents by prohibiting the use of handheld devices by anyone who is driving a vehicle. They will not only reduce insurance rates which have been going up as a result of the increased number crashes caused by distracted driving, but also, likely, save quite a few lives.
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