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California now has limits on GPS use while driving

Teens and adults are involved in fatal accidents in huge numbers each year. California is fighting back against distracted driving with new rules about using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.

Since January 1 of this year, GPS devices and cellphones used for navigation in California must be mounted to the dashboard or in one of two places on the windshield. This eliminates one commonly cited justification for accidents when drivers claim to have been using their phones for navigation.

Distracted drivers cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year

The statistics are overwhelmingly telling. Over 650,000 people are operating a device while driving, every minute of every daylight hour. And, in 2012, just over 420,000 people were injured in vehicle accidents that involved distracted drivers.

Driver education programs are doing their best to teach new drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. However, young drivers sometime fail to grasp the gravity of warnings until something happens to one of their own. Some states have driving programs that make use of virtual technology simulations in an attempt to educate new drivers. Students of these courses can experience what it's like to go through rollover accidents.

Tougher penalties for drivers using cellphones

Other states are looking at new laws that allow for tougher penalties for drivers who cause accidents due to the use of cellphones. Although many equate "distracted driving" with texting, many accidents are caused by people who are simply talking on their cellphones.

With the backing of federal and state laws, law enforcement agents across the U.S. are hoping to cut down on the number of accidents attributable to distracted driving. In the meantime, grassroots groups are making efforts to increase awareness across the ages so drivers can make informed decisions even without being forced into doing so by law. One such group, Teens Against Distracted Driving, urges teens to take a pledge not to text and drive.

Getting the word out

Surprisingly, teens are more aware of the prevalence of distracted driving than adults. Authorities are now realizing that if they can get teens to help spread the word, more teens will listen and be less likely to use cellphones while driving.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver of any age, contact a personal injury attorney at the law firm of Rosenthal & Kreeger LLP to learn about your options. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses such as medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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