According to statistics provided by the State Police and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), traffic deaths in the state were down in 2015 when compared to statistics from 2010. According to the numbers, there were 45 traffic deaths in 2015 compared to 67 in 2010.
Despite this encouraging trend, Col. Steven O’Donnell remarked that this number was still too high, and that “we want to take that death rate down.” While the overall figures for traffic fatalities are down in the state, the number of accidents caused by texting while driving is actually on the rise, with this dangerous behavior responsible for as many as 25% of all car accidents in the U.S. A driver who is texting is actually 2,400% more likely to cause an accident than a driver who is not texting.
Drunk driving also remains a problem in the state, accounting for an approximate 1/3 of highway deaths in Rhode Island.
To help reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted driving, the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would prohibit drivers from using cell phones that are not hands-free, as even talking on the phone poses a serious threat to roadway safety. In fact, drivers who are speaking on a cell phone are 300% more likely to get into an accident than drivers not talking on their phones.