What would we do without our cell phones? These days, almost everyone uses a cell phone for just about everything, from getting driving directions to searching for what to cook for dinner tonight. It’s no wonder we always have one in our hands, even when driving! Unfortunately, the ability to use our phones while driving has made for very dangerous road hazards, such as auto accidents and injuries, property damage, and possibly accidental death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving has claimed 3,142 lives in 2020. A staggering number of unnecessarily lost lives.
Distracted driving is defined as any action that diverts attention from driving, such as chatting on the phone or texting, eating and drinking, engaging in conversation with passengers, adjusting the stereo or watching the navigation system, or engaging in any other activity.
The most dangerous distraction is texting. Texting requires that you take your eyes off the road for at least five seconds to send or read a text. That is equivalent to traveling the length of a football field with your eyes closed at 55 mph. With this in mind, it’s easy to see how cell phone use and texting can result in a catastrophe.
Cell Phone Penalties
As of 2014, the penalties for cell phone violations have become more substantial. A first-time violation carries a fine of $200-$400. A second offense can cost $400-$600. A third conviction can range from $600-$800 and 3 points are added to your license. Points added to your license will result in higher automobile insurance. Additionally, a third offense can also include a suspended license.
It is reasonable to assume that distracted drivers are more likely to get into an accident and cause injury, damage, or death. In this situation, a driver may face a lawsuit. They can be sued for negligence or recklessness and may be required to pay damages and attorney’s fees not to mention much harsher penalties such as incarceration.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
In many cases, cell phone violations can be handled in traffic court. However, if the offense involves injury or property damage, you will need an experienced lawyer who specializes in distracted driving violations. In some incidents, you may be facing a criminal misdemeanor. An experienced attorney like Andrew Maze, Esq. can negotiate for lower fees and points, a reduced sentence, or dropped charges. The Law Office of Andrew Maze has handled many cell phone violation cases over 25 years of law practice. If you need to investigate a violation, educate yourself on offense legalities, or skillfully represent your interests in court, contact The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze, Esq.