Delaware has 2nd highest rate of vehicle deaths tied to distracted driving

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Delaware ranks second in the nation in the rate of vehicle deaths related to distracted driving.

The report came late last month from ValuePenguin,an online site that provides information on financial firms including insurance companies.

Figures came from accident figures between 2015 and 2017. The ranking was based on fatality rate per 10 billion miles traveled.

The report noted that Delaware ranked second from the top despite strict laws on the use of handsets while driving.

Ranking first was Tennessee with fourth-ranked Texas having the highest total number of fatalities. Both states have looser laws on the use of handsets. Ranking 51stwas the District of Columbia.

Most states ban texting while driving, Montana (No. 5 in the ranking) has no restrictions.

With the exception of Delaware, states that completely ban the use of handsets while driving had a 25 percent lower rate of distracted driving fatalities than the national average.

Figures for 2018 will bear watching since more vehicles are getting hands free systems, which allowconversations without handsetsbut also have the potential to distract drivers. Also, more cars and trucks are getting systems that detect vehicles in the next lane and/or automatically apply the brakes when too close to another vehicle.

Last month a Travelers executive said during an economic forecast in Delaware that the insurance giant is launching a public campaign on distracted driving after seeing claims skyrocket on cases related to distracted driving.

The Delaware State Police have written thousands of tickets related to cell phone use and last month launched one mass enforcement effort that netted 49 drivers in four hours.

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