You’ve probably heard about teens texting and driving, so it may come as a big surprise that the age group most likely to text and drive is not teens, but rather adults. A study by AT&T found that 43% of teens admit to texting while driving, bad enough, but still, “nearly half” of adults also admit to texting and driving.
The same study found that 98% of adults know texting and driving is wrong but still do it anyway. In a sign of the times, six in ten of those adults who admit to texting while driving said they did not do so three years ago.
People text and drive because they think their message is important, but doing so puts drivers, passengers, and others in nearby vehicles at considerable risk. The immense hazard it poses should be enough to break the habit, but the statistics show that may not be true.
It Can Wait
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving, like texting while driving, accounted for 3,142 deaths in 2019, along with 424,000 injuries. This is even as AT&T’s national campaigns like “It Can Wait” by AT&T ask drivers to pledge not to text while driving, and states have begun their own campaigns to pass laws and crack down on this dangerous behavior.
The fact is, texting and driving increases the risk of a crash. You are a safer driver when you have your mind on the task, eyes on the road, and hands on the wheel.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), as of 2022, 48 states and the District of Columbia all have laws against texting while driving. Almost half ban all drivers from any type of hand-held cellphone use.
In Louisiana, texting while driving isn’t only dangerous, but it’s also illegal. La. R.S. 32:300.5 specifies that someone caught texting or using social media while driving can face a fine of up to $500 for the first offense and up to $1000 for subsequent offenses. If the person is also involved in a crash at the time of the violation, then the fine doubles.
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According to a 2017 article by NPR, a company named Cellebrite created a “textalyzer”—think of a breathalyzer but for texting. With accidents due to distracted driving seeming to increase every year, companies and states have been forced to find ways to determine if someone involved in an accident did so because of illegal distracted driving.
Essentially, Cellebrite’s technology allows a police officer to connect the device to someone’s cell phone after an accident, which would read out if the driver was using any apps or swiping on their phone in the moments before the crash. States like New York have considered passing laws allowing police officers to potentially use devices like this.
Until then, it seems that maybe the best way to cut down on texting while driving is for adults to lead by example to show teens and children that texting, and distracted driving in general, is dangerous and can lead to accidents and other repercussions under the law.
Consequences of Texting and Driving Beyond Traffic Tickets
Getting a traffic ticket is not the only potential consequence of texting and driving. Reading or typing a text can significantly distract a driver from the road for several seconds to several minutes. During this time, the driver could:
- Miss a traffic signal
- Veer into an adjacent lane
- Strike a pedestrian or cyclist
- Accidentally cause a crash in numerous other ways
The driver will likely receive a traffic ticket if they cause a collision because of distracted driving. They could face additional charges such as vehicular manslaughter or other serious allegations depending on where and how the accident occurred. A driver will also likely face a civil case, where the victims could demand money.
If a Distracted Driver Hits You
If you are the victim of a texting driver, the other driver may be cited by the police who respond to the accident scene for their behavior. However, it is not always easy to prove, and you may feel frustrated because they do not receive a ticket or face other legal consequences.
However, the civil case against them will matter most to you. This is how you recover the money you need to pay for your medical care, repair your car, and more. We urge you to enlist the help of a car accident attorney familiar with distracted driving claims to manage this process for you.
Your attorney can develop a claim and demand appropriate compensation for:
- Medical bills and future costs
- Lost wages and future missed pay because of your injuries
- Property damages
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other intangible losses
- Wrongful death damages if the victim passed away
If the insurer refuses to accept responsibility for their policyholder’s distracted driving and other negligent behavior, your attorney can sue the driver and take the case to trial.
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Speak With a Morris Bart, LLC Attorney for Free Today
If you have been injured in an accident by a driver that was texting while driving, call the Morris Bart law firm today at (800) 537-8185 for a free consultation with our lawyers. We represent clients in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. We can help you get the money you deserve to compensate you for your injuries.
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