Tag Archive for: Distracted Driving

Rhode Island, Are You Ready to be Hands-Free On June 1st?

Drivers, prepare yourself for going hands-free on Friday, June 1st! The new Rhode Island law (TITLE 31 Motor and Other Vehicles, 31-22, Miscellaneous Rules, SECTION 31-22-31) prohibits the use of a handheld wireless communication device while operating a vehicle.

As many of us already know, distracted driving-related accidents are on the rise. Distracted driving is creating unsafe conditions for drivers as well as pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that in 2015, distracted driving took the lives of nearly 3,500 people with almost 400,000 seriously injured. This law is necessary and will drive these staggering numbers down. Fines start at $100. First-time offenders can waive the fine with proof of purchasing hands-free apparatus.

As drivers, we need to prepare for this new law. Here are some hands-free solutions that will keep you safe and ensure you are abiding the new law!

Bluetooth Technology offers a variety of inexpensive options depending on your needs. Here are a few examples:

Bluetooth Handsfree Wireless Car Speaker – Clip-on: This device clips on to the visor of the car and can transport easily from vehicle to vehicle.

ri hands free law

Read a review of Bluetooth car visor speakerphones.

Bluetooth Transmitter with an In-Car Charger: This device requires a USB and the auxiliary port on your car stereo. Once installed, calls can be made and received hands-free!

bluetooth charger

Read a review of Bluetooth transmitters with an in-car charger.

Bluetooth Headset with Noise Cancelling Mic: As the name implies, this is a hands-free headset that allows you to talk and be understood with the noise canceling features.

bluetooth headset

See review of Bluetooth headsets.

Most newer vehicles have Bluetooth installed.

ri hands free law

However, if you own an older car, you can have Bluetooth technology installed at a local car electronic specialist.

Additional information regarding the new law can be found online on RIDOT’s website.

Distracted Driving Tips

Two seconds is the longest a driver can safely glance away from the road, but sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds.

The Danger of Distracted Driving

The increased proliferation of technology in all of our lives has created a new danger for those who take to the roads every day: distracted driving.

Talking on cell phones, operating navigation or audio devices and, especially, texting while driving create situations for drivers, passengers and those operating nearby or oncoming automobiles that can be extremely hazardous.

Numerous sources cite texting while driving as more dangerous than even driving while intoxicated.

According to Distraction.gov, the official distracted driving information website of the United States government, distracted driving is defined as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” These activities can include talking on a cell phone, eating, drinking, watching a video, adjusting a sound system, checking a navigation system, or even simply talking to passengers.

But by far the greatest distraction, because it involves visual, manual as well as mental attention, is texting.

During the daylight hours, at any time there are up to 660,000 drivers who are texting while behind the wheel, while a full quarter of teenagers respond to a text message at least once each time they drive.

A 2009 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that while texting a driver’s eyes typically leave the road for a full five seconds, or enough time at 55 mph to drive the length of a football field.

Distraction.gov notes that in 2013, 3,154 people were killed and 421,000 people injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. Drivers under the age of 20 make up 10 percent of all distracted driving fatalities, while drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of distracted driving deaths.

OceanPoint Insurance wants to make our clients and others – especially those who are the parents of teenagers or young adults – aware of the very real danger of distracted driving, especially the distraction of texting while driving.

For more information on the dangers of distracted driving and how to stay safe behind the wheel, call OceanPoint at 847.5200


More information is available from Distraction.gov (www.distraction.gov) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which hosts a texting and driving prevention website, “Stop The Texts. Stop The Wrecks” (www.stoptextsstopwrecks.org).