Distracted driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving carefully. There are many ways that a driver can become distracted while driving including eating or drinking, applying makeup, reading, or talking to a passenger.
Advances in technology have unfortunately increased opportunities for distraction. Cellular phones, GPS devices, and music devices are new (and dangerous) sources of distraction for drivers. When a driver takes his eyes off the road, his hands off the wheel, or his mind off of driving, he increases his chances of being involved in a serious crash. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction- visual, manual, and cognitive.
How Serious is Distracted Driving?
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured each day in crashes that are reportedly caused by distracted drivers. The official US Government website for distracted driving, Distraction.gov, reports that at any given moment during the day in the United States, over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a cellular phone. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, and an additional 387,000 people were injured. Studies show that sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds; at 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
What are the Laws in Louisiana?
In recent years, the Louisiana legislature has taken a firm stand against distracted driving. Louisiana law currently prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using cellular devices to talk and to write, send, and read text-based communications.
Additionally, drivers are forbidden from accessing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media websites while driving. Texting while driving is now a primary offense in Louisiana, meaning police officers can stop and ticket drivers solely for texting while behind the wheel.
Holding Distracted Drivers Accountable
Seventeen percent of car accidents involving injuries are caused by driver distraction, and at least 1.3 million crashes each year involve cell phone use. In Louisiana alone, 6,375 car crashes were caused by distracted drivers in the year 2013 resulting in 3,095 injuries and 26 fatalities.
The New Orleans auto accident attorney at The Lambert Firm have handled cases involving car accidents for 35 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident where you believe the other driver was texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise engaged in distracted driving, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Lambert Firm can help you secure the full compensation that you deserve. Contact us or call 1-800-521-1750 today to speak with an attorney. We are prepared to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.