According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, Michigan is one of the safest states in the U.S. regarding distracted driving. QuoteWizard, an insurance company, analyzed NHTSA fatality data from between 2013 and 2017 in each state to rank the 50 states based on their number of fatalities. The states are ranked from 1 being the most distracted and dangerous state, to 50 being the least distracted, with Michigan ranking as one of the safest at 44. The only states safer than Michigan were recorded as being Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Nevada, Oregon, and Mississippi.
Between 2013 and 2017, Michigan had 209 distracted driving fatalities, which comprised less than 3% of the total fatalities, which were 7,080.
The states with the most distracted driving fatalities were New Mexico, which ranked #1 with 604 fatalities, New Jersey with 750, Washington with 626, Kentucky with 842, and Hawaii, with 105 deaths.
Besides state rankings, the report also showed a decline in distracted driving over the time period, with the fatalities counting for over 6% of all driving fatalities in 2013, but dropping to just over 5% in 2017.
One of the reasons for Michigan’s low number of distracted driving deaths is the 2013 legislation that prohibits cell phone use by new drivers. Under the law, teenaged drivers with a Level 1 or 2 Graduated Driver License are prohibited from making or answering phone calls. The only exemptions are when a teenager needs to report an emergency, crash, or crime.
The law may be modified, as a bill introduced by Representative Mari Manoogian of Birmingham proposes to make it illegal for any driver under 18 to use a cell phone for any reason.
Car accidents resulting from distracted driving can easily be prevented by staying alert and doing whatever is in your power to limit distractions.
General safety tips include:
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