Birmingham Distracted Driving Car Accident Lawyers
Alabama Distracted Driving Laws
Every day in the U.S. more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured due to accidents reportedly caused by a distracted driver. Drivers can become distracted by a number of things both inside and outside the vehicle. Any one of these can cause a serious road accident. Distracted driving, whatever the cause, is dangerous and increases the risk of an auto accident.
- Texting or using a hand-held mobile phone. Texting is completely prohibited for commercial truck drivers and they may only use a hands-free phone which is located close by.
- Smoking. Lighting a cigarette, smoking and putting ash in the tray are all serious driving distractions.
- Eating and drinking. A driver who is eating or drinking is 3.6 times more likely to cause an accident.
- Reading or using maps. This creates a dangerous driving distraction because the driver's attention is drawn from the road.
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player. Even looking away from the road for just a few seconds can lead to fatal mistakes.
- Outside distractions. Objects, persons or events outside the car can be dangerous distractions.
- Substance abuse. Using drugs or alcohol when driving will seriously impair the driver's ability and concentration.
Essentially, drivers are not allowed to use any type of text-based communication advice while driving. This also includes using GPS apps or devices while the vehicle is in motion and while the driver is operating the vehicle. Interestingly, the law does not mention video chatting, gaming, or streaming.
Cell Phones and Distracted Driving
Alabama has a number of laws in place to help prevent distracted driving. These include:
- Primary law prohibiting all cell phone use – both handheld and hands-free – for bus drivers.
- Primary law prohibiting all cell phone use – both handheld and hands-free – for all drivers under the age of 18.
- Primary law prohibiting texting for drivers of all ages.
A primary law is one that allows the officer to stop a vehicle, whereas under secondary laws, an officer must have another reason to stop a vehicle before citing a driving for using a cellphone. Blue Tooth technology or hands-free devices are allowed for drivers who are age 19 and older. The penalty for texting while driving is $25 for the first offense, then $50 then $75. The driver will also receive two points against his or her license each time.
Tips for Driving Safely
- Ask for advice: If you are just learning to drive, ask your parents or driving instructor for tips on how to minimize driving distractions and advice for how to stay focused while you drive.
- Focus on driving: Remember, distracted driving doesn't just involve cell phones. You can easily become distracted while chatting, looking at objects or people, eating or performing tasks that are not related to driving. Tell your friends and family that you will not be answering calls or text messages while you are driving.
- Be a helpful passenger: Even when you're a passenger you can help the driver avoid becoming distracted. If you are riding with a friend or family member who is talking or texting on a cell phone or being distracted in another way, speak up and remind them to focus on their driving. Warn them of the dangers of distracted driving. Encourage your friends and family to stay focused while driving. Offer to help them manage their cellphone or to turn it off.
What To Do if You Have Been Injured by a Distracted or Reckless Driver in Alabama
If you have been injured as a result of negligence on the part of a distracted or reckless driver, you have the legal right to be compensated for your injury. At Guster Law Firm, LLC we firmly believe that reckless drivers should be held responsible for their actions. Contact our Birmingham car accident lawyers at (205) 386-6844 so we can help you get the damages you deserve and get your life back into swing.