News and Updates

Next Blog: Reptile Autopsy – Reptile Superstar

  • This week I got 4 requests for codes and fortunately I had them all. Remember a) do not guess and b) you cannot find the codes yourself. We certainly invite you to ask for codes but if we do not reply, it is because we do not have that particular code.
  • We continue to get requests for referrals to lawyers in other states versed in the Reptile©. We got 1 case referral this week. There’s no charge for this service so if you need an out-of-state lawyer for one of your cases, just ask.

Total Verdict and Settlement Amount: $7,732,778
Grand Total: $7,867,145,942.85

Rules and Statistics Regarding Distracted Driving

Provided by Reid Wamble

Distracted driving increases your chance of being in a crash. It involves doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.
There are three main types of distraction:
*   Visual─taking your eyes off the road,
*   Manual─taking your hands off the wheel, and
*   Cognitive─taking your mind off of driving.
Distracted driving activities include using a cell phone, texting, and eating. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction.
While any of these can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distractions.
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
·         Texting
·         Using a cell phone or smartphone
·         Eating and drinking
·         Talking to passengers
·         Grooming
·         Reading, including maps
·         Using a navigation system
·         Watching a video
·         Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. On this page, you’ll find facts and statistics that are powerfully persuasive. If you don’t already think distracted driving is a safety problem, please take a moment to learn more. And, as with everything on Distraction.gov<http://Distraction.gov>, please share these facts with others.

 

Together, we can help save lives.
Reading while driving is distracted driving. In fact, it might be considered the most distracting thing a driver can do behind the wheel, short of sleeping. Yet lots of drivers still do it. Anyone who has spent time cruising the highways of this country has likely seen a driver reading a newspaper (I have) a book (I have) or a handful of papers (I have).

  1. Is distracted driving really a problem?
    Distracted driving kills. The friends, family, and neighbors of the thousands of people killed each year in distracted driving crashes will tell you it is a very serious safety problem. The nearly half a million people injured each year will agree.
  2. What is distracted driving?
    Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off your primary task: driving safely. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
  3. If it’s so dangerous, why do people do it?
    Some people still don’t know how dangerous distracted driving is. Others know about the risks of texting and talking while driving, but still choose to do so anyway. They make the mistake of thinking the statistics don’t apply to them, that they can defy the odds. Still others simply lead busy, stressful lives and use cell phones and smartphones to stay connected with their families, friends, and workplaces. They forget or choose not to shut these devices off when they get behind the wheel.
  4. Who are the most serious offenders?
    Our youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under 20. But they are not alone. At any given moment during daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.

Key Facts and Statistics
·         In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.
·         10% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
·         As of December 2012, 171.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. (CTIA)<http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/aid/10323>
·         11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
·         For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones (NHTSA)<http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811737.pdf>
·         At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)<http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811719.pdf>
·         Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times. (VTTI)<http://www.vtti.vt.edu/featured/052913-cellphone.html>
·         Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)<http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Driver-Distraction-Commercial-Vehicle-Operations.pdf>
·         Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)<http://www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Driver-Distraction-Commercial-Vehicle-Operations.pdf>
·         A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (UMTRI)<http://www.umtri.umich.edu/news.php?id=3197>

It’s no wonder that “distracted driving” has been called “the new drunk driving” [source: The Economist<http://www.economist.com/node/18561075>].
Distractions inside our vehicles abound. For many professionals, their car, truck or SUV is truly their office on wheels. For younger drivers, the car continues to serve as a social hub as it has for decades. But now vehicles are not just a mobile party; they’ve also become a spot to place calls and send texts — all too often with deadly consequences
Driving under the influence of a cell phone, be it handheld or hands-free, impairs driver reaction to the same level as being at the legal limit for blood alcohol content of .08 [source: stoptextsstopwrecks.org<http://www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org/>].
Hands-free headsets appear to reduce the risk somewhat — instead of both cognitive and manual impairment as you have with a handheld device, hands-free units only tie up your mental capabilities; in some jurisdictions, they’re mandatory for people who talk on the phone while they drive.
Studies suggest that talking on a cell phone roughly quadruples a person’s risk of being involved in a crash [source: AAA Foundation<http://www.aaafoundation.org/multimedia/distracteddriving.cfm?gclid=CPqmnfKctK0CFaQRNAodMgKfmQ>].
How could something that seems so innocuous be so deadly? Once again, it lies in the brain’s ability to truly do only one thing at a time. We’ve become such masters at task switching that we create the illusion of successfully doing two or more things simultaneously. But throw a surprise into the mix, like a child darting into traffic or a slamming of the brakes by the car in front of us, and the brain can quickly fail to keep pace.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/10-most-dangerous-distracted-driving-habits.htm#page=1

Sincerely,
Reid Wamble