By Matt Schmitz on July 18, 2013
If the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging there is one, the U.S. has made strides in addressing the deadly issue of distracted driving. According to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit association representing U.S. highway-safety offices, states have made significant improvements in enacting and enforcing distracted-driving laws, collecting data and educating the public.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in GHSA's "2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States" study and results show that since the previous study in 2010, the number of states identifying distracted driving as a priority issue increased by 28 to 39, a 43% spike. Jonathan Adkins, GHSA deputy executive director, indicated that while knowing may be half the battle, the second half might be an uphill one, as 50% of adults now own smartphones, according to GHSA. "States face major obstacles including a lack of funding for enforcement, media and education," he said in a statement. "That, coupled with the motoring public's unwillingness to put down their phones, despite disapproving of and recognizing the danger of this behavior, makes for a challenging landscape."
Other findings of the 2013 study are: