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Why Texting While Driving is so Dangerous

texting ban in Alabama

Every day in the United States, it’s estimated more than 1.3 million car crashes involve cell phone use. Drive Safe Alabama says a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a driver not texting.

At least 3,331 were killed and 387,000 injured in car crashes involving texting in 2020, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Cellphone use behind the wheel is just one form of distracted driving, but certainly, with the advent of smartphones, it is a prevalent and growing cause.  

NHTSA estimates there are approximately 660,000 drivers using cell phones while driving daily. Other forms of distracted driving include eating, fixing makeup, changing the radio, and turning to talk to people in the back, for example.

These are preventable causes of accidents and death!

Parents should lead by example and never text while driving with children in the car.

How dangerous is texting while driving?

Driving involves your full attention at all times. For example, if you take your eyes off the road for five seconds while traveling 55 mph, you can cover an entire football field length, according to NHTSA.

Estimates are that distracted driving causes at least 10 percent of all crashes. That may be an underestimate because most people do not confess to police they were distracted by texting when law enforcement makes its report.  

University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety reports that 14,000 car and truck accidents were caused by texting drivers, with 132 killed and 4,380 injured.

Alabama Texting While Driving Laws

An Alabama law that went into effect in 2012 makes it illegal to text and send emails and instant messages while driving. In the past, texting while driving was a secondary offense – meaning you had to be pulled over for something else initially. That is no longer the case.

It is now considered a primary law. An officer can pull you over simply for texting while driving and texting. But don’t expect the punishment matches the crime.

For the first offense of texting and driving fine of $25 and two points are added to your driving license. A second offense will cost you $50, and you can expect the next fine to be $75. Points will be added to your license each time.

If you are under the age of 18, the fines are more substantial – $150 to $350, along with two points on your driving record.

Meanwhile, it is still legal to use a handheld device in Alabama unless you are 18 or younger. In that case, using a cell phone or other hands-free devices is illegal while driving.

The only exception is if you need emergency assistance or are parked along the shoulder of the road.

Instead of texting, use your smartphone feature of voice command or speed redials.

Personal Injury and the Texting Driver

Under Alabama law, you can seek a remedy when you are injured in a car crash with a distracted driver. With the help of an Alabama personal injury lawyer, we will establish the driver who caused the accident and what role texting played.

We first look at:

  • Police reports – The first responders to the accident will note the physical evidence and statements from both drivers.
  • Records – The cellphone records of the drivers involved in the crash
  • Driving Record – The driving record of the at-fault driver
  • Witnesses – Police include witness reports filed at the scene, and we check with any street cameras that may have caught the circumstances before the crash
  • Black Box – Some vehicles, as well as trucks, come with black box recorders that will reveal the conditions that existed before the crash and whether brakes were applied before the collision

Your Alabama Car Crash Attorney

J. Allan Brown has decades of experience helping drivers who have been injured or family members killed due to the negligence of other drivers. He will investigate your car accident to determine the at-fault party. You may be able to recover the cost of the medical and rehab bills, lost wages, and property damage from the person who caused the accident.

Let the experience of J. Allan Brown, Attorney at Law, review your case during a complimentary consultation. Call the office to make an appointment at (251) 220-3199 or contact us online.

Sources:

NHTSA
https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

GHSA
https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/distracted%20driving

DriveSafely
https://www.drive-safely.net/alabama-driving-laws/

Drive Safe Alabama
https://drivesafealabama.org/keys-to-safety/distracted-driving/

EndDD
https://www.enddd.org/the-facts-about-distracted-driving/?gclid=CjwKCAjwhNWZBhB_EiwAPzlhNkpWwV1FSRIcfwrQbC8dalQUf-TXLn8YO8qpQ63sZ4jtYMgCqup4yhoCdyYQAvD_BwE

ALDOT
https://drivesafealabama.org/serious-stats/

https://www.dot.state.al.us/publications/Design/pdf/TrafficSafetyOp/SHSP.pdf
J. Allan Brown, LLC
Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC, is located in Mobile, AL and serves clients in and around Mobile, Bucks, Satsuma, Eight Mile, Semmes, Spanish Fort, Citronelle, Theodore, Saraland, Montrose, Irvington, Saint Elmo, Wilmer, Point Clear, Grand Bay, Chunchula, Fairhope, Creola, Bayou La Batre, Axis, Coden, Bay Minette, Silverhill, Baldwin County and Mobile County.
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