Rhode Island State Troopers report writing over twice as many citations for distracted driving over the past year. In total, 513 citations have been handed out to drivers looking at their phones while driving in comparison with a total of 231 written last year. This increase is thought to be due to the state’s effort to crack down on distracted driving after passing a statute that makes texting and driving illegal. The purpose behind cracking down on the use of cell phones while behind the wheel is to prevent distracted driving, which is a major cause of disastrous crashes and Middletown car accident lawsuits.
Is There A Distracted Driver Law In Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, there is a law that bans the use of cell phones for texting and driving while operating a motor vehicle. Although widely thought to only prohibit sending or viewing texts while driving, the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal recently held that the law also prohibits holding a cell phone and viewing its displays while driving. This means that any use of the cell phone that takes the driver’s eyes and attention off the road can violate the statute and land the driver a ticket, and potentially, a hefty fine.
Why is Distracted Driving Dangerous?
Driving while paying attention to something other than the road is a major cause of serious and even fatal car accidents. Each day in the U.S. 8 people die and approximately 1,161 are injured in car accidents that can be attributed to distract driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Taking your eyes off the road, even just for a second, impairs your ability to be aware of what is going on around you and eliminates vital reaction time needed to avoid a crash.
The use of phones while driving heavily contributes to these accidents. At any given moment during the day, it is estimated that approximately 660,000 people are using or looking at their phones while driving. On average, it takes about 5 seconds to look at a text. During this time, a driver is essentially driving blindfolded. Depending on the rate of speed, the consequences can be severe. With more and more people buying smartphones, the instances of distracted driving have quickly spiked in the U.S. prompting many states to enact laws similar to the distracted driving laws here in Rhode Island in an effort to increase safety on the roadways.
Contact an Experienced Middletown Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Middletown car accident, contact one of our experienced Middletown car accident lawyers located at 1521 West Main Road, Middletown, RI 02842. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. No fees are received unless you win your case. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call us at 1-401-846-5449 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.