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Now that the days are so much shorter and the roads are getting slippery, it’s time to prepare ourselves for the seasonal changes. To many, this means getting their vehicles fixed up and ready to tackle the rain, snow, and ice that tends to follow. While all of this is important to take care of, it’s actually not the weather that causes most of the road accidents in the US as much as the time we spend on our phones.

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Distracted driving is the cause of most road accidents and continues to be so, even with many states rolling out stricter penalties for the drivers who are caught red-handed. For repeat offenders, this could mean spending some time in jail.

‘Distracted driving is an epidemic’

As Oregon Department of Transportation announced the new Bill which takes effect on the upcoming Sunday, the officials stressed its importance. It will, in principle, make it unlawful for drivers to touch their cell phones while driving – including other electronics.

You could use a hands-free device, of course, except for those under 18 who will not be able to use any kind of electronic device except for an in-dash navigation system.

While the law may seem strict to some, the ODOT officials point to the fact that it is designed to save lives as the habit of distracted driving has become an addiction and an epidemic for drivers on the road.

Statistics by the ODOT administration shows that fatal crashes have increased by 50 % the last two years and, with the increase of technology in our lives, it seems like stricter penalties and the prospects of jail time is the way to get the numbers down.

It’s not just the phones

There has been a ban on texting while driving in Texas since the middle of September this year, with drivers who are caught repeatedly having to pay a fine of up to $200.  It’s quite likely that the penalties will be getting stricter all over the country, with drivers expected to refrain from any kind of distractions while being on the road.

This includes eating, for example, and even talking to other passengers in the car.

House Bill 62, which is the name of this new phone-less era on the roads, is necessary for reducing the number of fatalities and accidents on the road, said State Rep. Gene Wu, D-Huston, a joint author of the bill. The signal it sends will have an effect on the mindset of the public – but it’s a good idea to have both insurance and trucking accident lawyers handy in case you’re subject to distracted drivers yourself.

Although the Bill is limited to restrict drivers from texting and using social media while the car is in motion, they can still use it at a full stop – and, of course, with handsfree.

The best kind of drivers have their full concentration on the road at all times, and they manage to park their phone while the car is in motion.