Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous driving habits that motorists continue to engage in throughout the country. Though many drivers know this habit is illegal, they have convinced themselves that they are the exception, or that a quick glance at the phone will do no harm.
In reality, it is one of the leading causes of auto collisions in the U.S., as it accounts for approximately 1.6 million crashes annually. This means that about one out of every four collisions is caused by someone who is texting behind the wheel. The legal repercussions of this behavior can be severe. If you have been involved in a car accident caused by someone who was texting and driving, know that you have the right to legal compensation.
Consequences of Texting While Driving
Nearly every state in the country has a law prohibiting texting while operating a vehicle. Even the states that do not enforce one of these laws will still issue legal consequences, as it is considered to be a form of distracted driving. This said, the term “texting and driving” is representative of only one type of distracted driving behaviors. The use of a mobile device while driving is illegal in 20 states, so your consequences might not be any less severe if you were scrolling through social media or emailing someone instead.
While not all forms of distracted driving may be illegal, they all endanger yourself and other motorists. It’s best to keep your eyes on the road, even if you are unsure of the legality of your mobile phone use behind the wheel. Neglecting to take such safety precautions could result in you facing the following consequences:
- Fines: Depending on your state, you may be required to pay anywhere between $20 to $500.
- Criminal charges: Certain states will charge guilty drivers with a misdemeanor offense.
- Incarceration: Drivers who injure other motorists or pedestrians as a result of their negligence are likely to face jail or prison time.
This list is far from all-inclusive, as these represent only some of the most severe penalties you may face if you are found liable for a texting and driving incident. Other repercussions include points on your driving record, loss of your driving privileges (either through suspension or revocation of your license), and perhaps even vehicle impoundment. You may also be required to attend road safety courses.
Avoiding Texting and Driving Accidents
Whether you are familiar with your state’s texting and driving laws, it is best to put your phone away and leave all mobile activities and communications for when the vehicle is parked and off. Even if you may not face severe legal repercussions, the danger you pose to yourself and other drivers is not worth the risk.
If you have been charged with the offense of texting and driving, contact a lawyer right away. The severity of the penalties is monumental and can have lasting effects on your personal and professional life, especially if you face criminal charges or are incarcerated. To secure legal defense for the charges against you, get in touch with a texting and lawyer as soon as possible.