man driving and Reading Text Messages

Everyone knows that it is illegal to text and drive in RI. But, can someone get a ticket just for reading a text message when driving? The answer is yes. Reading text messages is a form of distracted driving that can lead to car accidents and cause injury to others. If you were injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, you may want to contact a Providence, RI car accident lawyer.

Is It Really Against The Law to Read a Text Message When Driving?

courtroomSection 31-22-30 (b) of the Rhode Island General Laws states that “no person shall use a wireless handset to compose, read or send text message while operating a motor vehicle on any public street or public highway within the state of Rhode Island.” Many Rhode Island drivers assume that they can only get a ticket for sending text messages and will not get a ticket for reading them. However, this is not true and RI traffic courts have upheld tickets for drivers who were reading text messages while operating a vehicle.

Why Does This Law Exist?

The law was created to reduce distracted driving in RI. This has also been a problem nationally, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in car accidents involving distracted driving. As of December 2014, 169.3 billion text messages were sent in the United States. About 10 percent of all drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.

Contact a Providence, RI Car Accident Lawyer

personal injury lawyer meeting client injured when hit by driver reading text messagesIf you or someone you know has been injured a car accident, contact one of our experienced Providence car accident lawyers located at 390 Broadway, Providence, RI 02909. 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 401-831-8600 or toll free at 1-800-992-6878. You may also fill out our contact form online.