What Is Texting and Driving?

Where You Need a Lawyer:

(This may not be the same place you live)

At No Cost! 

 What are Smartphones?

Smartphones are cell phones that have both the features of a mobile phone and a personal digital assistant (PDA). Most cell phones today have sophisticated functionality that can do the same functions as a desktop computer.

Android and iPhone smartphones are popular models. Connectivity to the internet is one of a smartphone’s key features. This suggests that a user of a smartphone might be able to access the internet straight from their device.

Additionally, a smartphone has a camera that the user can utilize to snap pictures and make films. Even though a smartphone can be extremely helpful and beneficial, using one while driving can be dangerous.

Due to the many tasks that a smartphone can complete, using one while driving can quickly cause a motorist to get distracted. Along with an increase in traffic offenses, this could result in an increase in car accidents.

What Is Driving While Texting?

When someone uses their cell phone to send or receive texts while operating a motor vehicle, it is known as texting while driving. This can involve doing things like:

  • Examining texts
  • Composing messages
  • Displaying messages to fellow travelers
  • Reading the texts of other travelers
  • Scouring text messages for a specific text message
  • Various other text messaging-related operations

Why Is Texting While Driving Against the Law?

It is not recommended to text while driving because doing so can lead the motorist to become very distracted. The average time a driver spends texting while driving is five seconds, and in some cases, significantly longer. This frequently enough causes a collision or accident on the road.

Many states’ rules against distracted driving cover texting while driving. Some states outright forbid using a smartphone while driving.

Distracted Driving: What is it?

Distracted driving refers to the act of a driver being preoccupied with something other than driving while they are behind the wheel. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, distracted driving causes about nine fatalities each day in the United States.

Driving while distracted can occur for a variety of reasons, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, reaching for a phone, changing the radio station, checking the GPS, taking a selfie or a photo, checking email, talking to a passenger, applying makeup, eating, and/or drinking.

Any activity that causes a driver to glance away from the road and pay less attention to their surroundings would be considered distracting.

What Rules Apply to Distracted Driving?

States have different traffic laws. But most states now have rules against driving while distracted. Many recently passed regulations forbid texting while driving or using a cell phone while driving.

Some states have laws against more traditional forms of distraction while driving, like shaving while driving or applying makeup while driving. Other jurisdictions have broad laws that define distracted driving as doing something while driving a car that is not necessary to drive the car and that interferes with, or might reasonably be anticipated to interfere with, the driver’s ability to drive the car safely.

What Laws Apply to Cell Phones?

Due to the widespread use of cell phones, many states have passed legislation that prohibits using them while driving. Some states permit cellphone use while driving as long as it is done in hands-free modes, such as using Bluetooth or speakers.

Other states prohibit cell phone use while driving, including when the hands-free feature is activated, for certain groups of drivers, including those under 18. Additionally, texting while driving is prohibited by law in many places.

These kinds of rules also forbid using other electronic devices for activities like emailing, web browsing, using applications, playing games, and other things that could seriously divert a driver.

In essence, using a smartphone while driving could be illegal if it interferes with the driver’s ability to pay attention to the road. As long as the driver programs such functions before they start driving, it is generally acceptable to use a smartphone to listen to music or an audio-guided GPS software.

Instead of recovering losses, the regulations against texting and driving focus more on deterrents or prevention.

The Consequences of Texting While Driving

As already established, many states have different regulations regarding texting and driving.

However, the typical penalties for texting while driving combine the following:

  • Depending on the state, monetary fines might be as low as $20 or as much as $500.
  • In some states, driving while texting is punishable by a misdemeanor (Class B or C)
  • If the offense resulted in the physical harm of another driver, a jail or prison sentence might be imposed.

With each subsequent transgression, the severity of the penalty rises.

For instance, the court can decide to impose a larger fine or a lengthier jail term following a second infraction.

Other repercussions of texting while driving, in addition to legal ones, include:

  • A person’s driving record points
  • Driving privileges being suspended or revoked
  • Mandatory classes in traffic safety
  • Vehicle impoundment, especially if an accident caused serious physical harm

With subsequent infractions, the legal repercussions for distracted driving can get worse.

Additionally, more severe penalties, including larger fines or longer jail terms, may be imposed if the infraction results in the serious injury of another driver.

Finally, some countries may subject commercial and bus drivers to higher criteria. For truck and bus drivers, violations can result in fines of more than $2,000.

What Reimbursement Am I Entitled To If Someone Texting While Driving Injures Me?

Depending on the case’s circumstances, the actual compensation amount will vary. However, you are entitled to compensation for any injuries you sustained. In addition, you are entitled to financial compensation for any costs or losses incurred as a result of your injury.

Punitive damages may be added in specific circumstances. Punitive damages are intended to make up for the wrongdoer’s conduct. The court might increase the amount of money granted if, for instance, the individual who hurt you had previously been penalized for texting while driving.

If a driver who was texting while driving caused you to be in an accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer. Any money you lost as a result of the driver’s negligence may be recovered with the aid of a personal injury attorney.

Can Distracted Drivers Be Held Responsible for More Crimes?

Undoubtedly, a distracted motorist is more likely to cause an accident, suffer injuries, and file a lawsuit. A distracted motorist may be liable for damages and legal costs if they have been negligent or reckless.

Should I Get Legal Assistance with Texting and Driving Infractions?

Some states are still considering reforming their texting rules because they are relatively new. If you have questions about the texting regulations or if you have been charged with texting while driving, you may want to engage an experienced traffic violation attorney. Your lawyer can give you rights advice and make sure you have adequate legal representation in any court proceedings.

If you’ve been charged with texting while driving, or if you have suffered injuries in a car accident due to a driver who was texting and driving, you are not alone. By using LegalMatch today, you can find the right lawyer for all your needs.

star-badge.png

16 people have successfully posted their cases

Find a Lawyer