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Distracted driving to be a priority for Arizona DPS next year

The holiday driving season commonly brings about media campaigns about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as impassioned pleas for Arizonans to use designated drivers or simply to use taxis when they are out on the town.

While drunk driving is certainly a prominent concern, a growing chorus is calling for Arizona drivers to stay off their cell phones while behind the wheel as well. According to a recent report, the Arizona Department of Public Safety is vowing to crack down on distracted drivers in 2014. This new call to action comes in the wake of a state patrol officer who was killed by a truck driver who was distracted while viewing images of women on his phone. 

We chronicled this story in a prior post, where the driver initially told investigators that he looked away at a passing truck, but video from the cab contradicted this story.

Nevertheless, the lack of a distracted driving law does not absolve drivers of their duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel of a car. This means that drivers should act as a reasonable, prudent person would in limiting distractions that could take their attention away from avoiding hazards ahead of them. If a driver is distracted by texting, talking on the phone, or reviewing emails and causes an accident, he or she could be held liable. Those injured in the crash could seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering as well as lost wages.

We hope that none of our readers ever experience the trauma of a car accident, but those injured by distracted drivers should consult an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source:, "Arizona DPS to crack down on distracted drivers," Jill Monier, November 16, 2013

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