distracted driving

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Out of Dad's Grief, NY Mulls a 'Textalyzer' Bill

Dad who lost son to texting driver want cops to be able to examine phone data at scene

(Newser) - When Ben Lieberman's 19-year-old son died in a head-on collision in New York, he sued to get phone records showing the driver of the car his son was in had been texting. Lieberman is channeling his grief into a proposal that would allow New York police at accident scenes... More »

'Damn Near Everybody' Uses Phones While Driving

Zendrive shares concerning numbers in largest distracted-driving analysis yet

(Newser) - An eyebrow-raising new study assesses the extent of distracted driving, with stats revealing just how many people use their cellphones while behind the wheel. "Damn near everybody … damn near all the time," Wired concludes after reviewing the Zendrive report, which the driving analytics company says is the... More »

Witness: Driver Was Texting Before Crash That Killed 13

There's no statewide Texas law against it

(Newser) - A witness says the driver of a pickup truck that collided with a church minibus in rural Texas, killing 13 people, acknowledged he had been texting while driving—highlighting the dangers of sending messages on smartphones while behind the wheel. Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein wouldn't... More »

Driver Kills Man While Allegedly Texting, Gets 4 Days in Jail

Judge advises teacher to educate others about distracted driving

(Newser) - A Minnesota woman who struck and killed a man while allegedly texting and driving will spend just four days in jail over two years. As part of a plea deal, Le Sueur County Judge Mark Vandelist on Monday sentenced Susan Ann Russo to four days behind bars, 40 hours of... More »

NJ Weighs Big Fines for Distracted Drivers (but Coffee Is Likely Safe)

Bill generates a lot of attention

(Newser) - A New Jersey lawmaker wants to slap stiff fines on motorists guilty of distracted driving, which his bill defines as "any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle." A story at NJ.com... More »

Driver Pokemon-Goes Right Into Police Car: Cops

'That's what I get for playing this dumb-a-- game': distracted Baltimore driver

(Newser) - Even a Legendary may not be able to get a young man from Baltimore out of trouble after his SUV ran into a police car early Monday while he was allegedly playing Pokemon Go, the Baltimore Sun reports. USA Today notes body-camera video was released that shows a Toyota RAV4... More »

Texting on Road Impairs Our 'Sixth Sense'

It's worse than other forms of distraction, says study

(Newser) - There are all sorts of ways a person can be distracted at the wheel—kids screeching, sleep deprivation, arguing—and they predate cell phones. But research in the journal Scientific Reports pits two types of distraction (being "emotional" or "absent-minded") against texting and finds the latter far... More »

You Could Be Liable for Texting a Driver

Distracted-driving laws still murky, but more onus being placed on message senders

(Newser) - Court rulings in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are taking texting-while-driving laws down a new road, opening the door to not only holding the offending driver liable for a car accident, but perhaps also the person texting the driver, Consumerist reports. In neither case has anyone (yet) had to legally... More »

'Textalyzer' Could Tell Cops Who Texts and Drives

NY considering device for cops at scene of accidents

(Newser) - When his son died following a car accident in New York state in 2011—he was a passenger in a vehicle that "drifted over the yellow line" and collided with another—Ben Lieberman was amazed that police didn't review the driver's cellphone records. The driver said he... More »

In-Car Infotainment Distracts You for Up to 27 Seconds

Research finds issuing voice commands can be distracting, deadly

(Newser) - Think it's safe to use a voice-activated in-car system to call your friend Dave or play the new Taylor Swift single? Think again. In two studies published Thursday, researchers found it can take nearly half a minute to regain full focus on the road after giving voice commands to... More »

Driver's Alleged Crime: Drinking Coffee

Minnesota woman was left 'dumbfounded'

(Newser) - There's a good chance you broke the law on your way to work today—at least in the eyes of Minnesota police. The offense: drinking coffee while driving. Lindsey Krieger tells KMSP she was "dumbfounded" when an officer told her she'd been pulled over for the apparent... More »

Fatal Crashes Are Surging; Buffett Says He Knows Why

It's not just about more cars on the road, he insists

(Newser) - If automobiles are constantly improving, why are traffic deaths going up? Warren Buffett thinks he knows. Fatal accidents surged 14% in the first half of the year, and one of the consequences of that is that Geico lost money and is now raising insurance premiums. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway owns... More »

Man Texting While on Motorcycle Loses His Life

Brandon R. McClain was headed south on I-65 in Indiana

(Newser) - Should you need more proof that texting while driving can be a deadly mix, consider the story of Brandon R. McClain. The 43-year-old Indiana man was heading south on I-65 on his motorcycle Thursday afternoon—while texting at the same time, police say. He apparently veered into the grassy median,... More »

Man Biking Across US for Charity Killed in Crash

Sarah Morris was allegedly looking at her phone when she hit Patrick Wanninkhof

(Newser) - On Sunday, Patrick Wanninkhof led a 26-person team that spent the day working for Habitat for Humanity. The 25-year-old was doing such charity work as part of Bike & Build, a group that bikes from coast to coast to raise funds for affordable housing. Yesterday, while cycling through Oklahoma, the... More »

This Is What Happens if You Text While Driving a Paint Truck

Things get messy

(Newser) - Interstate 68 in western Maryland is a little more colorful these days as crews work to clean up 6,500 gallons of spilled paint. State police say the driver of a tractor-trailer was texting when he lost control of the vehicle Wednesday evening, causing plastic barrels of white and yellow... More »

Driver Who Killed Cyclist Can't Text for 2 Years

Judge says owning a phone is a 'privilege,' not a right

(Newser) - In sentencing a driver who fatally struck a bicyclist, a Michigan judge doled out some typical punishments: two years of probation, community service, 90 days in jail. But he added an unusual one, reports the Lansing State Journal : no cell phone during the probation. And that's not just while... More »

Driver Applies Chapstick at Red Light, Gets $200 Ticket

Troopers in Vegas are serious about distracted driving

(Newser) - Las Vegas resident Stephanie Fragoso swears she's happy that troopers in Nevada are getting tough on distracted drivers, she's just surprised to find herself at the wrong end of a ticket. The 37-year-old tells CBS affiliate KLAS that she got a $200 citation Wednesday for the high crime... More »

Man Ticketed for Eating Burger While Driving

Georgia cop says Madison Turner broke 'distracted driving' law

(Newser) - "You can't just go down the road eating a hamburger." That, Madison Turner says, is what a Cobb County, Ga., police officer told him "three times" after pulling him over last week for distracted driving. Turner had been enjoying a double quarter pounder with cheese from... More »

Woman Killed by Sneeze, Says Sister

It led to the crash that killed Edna Hickson, she claims

(Newser) - A 79-year-old woman died Sunday, and her sister says a sneeze was to blame. Australian police say Edna Hickson's Hyundai Elantra rolled a number of times as she rounded a bend, causing internal injuries that ultimately killed her. But sister Betty Sheelah says Hickson, who was driving to Sheelah'... More »

Court: Calif. Drivers Can Use Phones to Check Maps

Law doesn't apply to smartphone apps

(Newser) - Using a smartphone to look a map while driving is allowed under the California law that bans motorists from talking or texting on a handheld phone, an appeals court has decided. The court sided with Steven Spriggs, who was fined $165 after a highway patrol officer spotted him looking at... More »

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