Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted Driving Accidents

Everything You Need To Know About The Distracted Driving Laws In Louisiana 

Louisiana has the second-highest rate of distracted driving fatalities in the country. Only New Mexico has more distracted driving fatalities than the Pelican State.

When a driver’s attention shifts, they could cause an accident, resulting in injury or death. Victims can suffer property damage and serious or catastrophic injuries, such as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), broken bones, torn ligaments, severe burns, amputations, or spinal cord injuries. In the most severe incidents, death can result. Additionally, they might miss work while recovering, causing them to lose out on much-needed income.

In such situations, victims may have legal recourse to recover compensation for their injuries and damages.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of safe driving. It may include talking or texting on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in the vehicle, tinkering with the radio, or using navigation systems. Most distracted driving actions, though dangerous, are legal.

About nine people are killed daily in the country due to crashes involving distracted drivers.

87% of rear-end collisions involve some form of distracted driving.

Texting while driving is six times more likely to lead to a car accident than drunk driving.

On average, drivers in Louisiana use their cell phones 2.4 times each time they drive. No law specifically says you can’t eat while going in the state.

Types Of Distractions

Anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the road is a distraction. These distractions can be categorized Into three types:

Visual Distractions

Distractions that cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. These include:

· Looking at the phone screen;

· Using a vanity mirror to check appearance for self-grooming or

· Looking behind at unsecured children or pets in the backseat.

Manual Distractions

Distractions that involve a driver taking his hands or hand off the steering wheel. These include:

· Texting, talking, or calling on the phone;

· Eating, drinking, or smoking while driving;

· Adjusting radio or mirrors;

· Using a navigation system;

· Foraging through personal belongings;

· Grooming oneself while driving;

· Looking at Billboard advertisements or

· Engaging on social media apps on the phone while driving.

Cognitive Distractions

Distractions that take a driver’s mind off the road. These include:

· Daydreaming;

· Listening to loud music;

· Having a conversation with passengers in the car or

Texting while driving is the most common form of distracted driving. 

Louisiana Laws Against Distracted Driving

According to Revised Statute 32:300.5, it is against the law to use a wireless telecommunications device such as a cell phone, text messaging device, tablet, or computer to write, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a vehicle on any public road or highway in Louisiana. 

Presently, Louisiana prohibits the following while driving:

· Reading, writing, or sending text messages;

· The use of social media;

· Drivers under the age of 16 are not permitted to use wireless devices, even if hands-free;

· The use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices is prohibited in active school zones and

· Cell phone use is prohibited for drivers under 18, drivers who only have a Class E learner’s permit or intermediate license, and new drivers of any age for one year after receiving their license. 

According to Revised Statute 32:295.2, motorists may not wear headphones, headsets, or listening devices (other than hearing aids) if the devices cover both ears or are inserted into both ears. The law does allow drivers to use headphones, earbuds, or headsets so long as only one ear is covered by the listening device. 

Law enforcement officers, emergency vehicle operators, or motorcyclists may use a headset installed in a helmet. However, riders should still be able to hear surrounding sounds while using the headset. 

Exceptions To The Distracted Driving Laws In Louisiana

Louisiana permits the use of GPS and other navigation systems. The state also allows drivers to use their phones while driving if they are:

· Reporting an emergency (traffic hazard, accident, fire, etc.);

· Trying to get help when their safety is at risk;

· Reporting a criminal act against someone;

· Legally parked; or

· Operating an ambulance or any other emergency vehicle. The use of cell phones must be a part of their job.

Louisiana uses primary enforcement of distracted driving laws. 

Primary enforcement of distracted driving laws means the police can pull you over if they see you violating state distracted driving laws.  

This means that even if you’re abiding by all traffic laws and believe you’re in total control of your vehicle, a police officer can pull you over and give a citation if they see you sending a text message while driving.

What Are the Fines for Distracted Driving in Louisiana?

The fines for distracted driving in Louisiana are among the highest in the country. In addition to the posted fine, you may also have to pay court costs and administrative fees. 

The fines for distracted driving in Louisiana are pretty steep:

· For adult drivers: $500 fine for the first offense.

$1,000 fine plus a 60-day license suspension for second and subsequent violations.

· For drivers under 18: up to $250 fine for the first offense; up to $500 fine plus a 60-day license suspension for second and subsequent violations.

Additionally, these already-high fines are doubled if the violation results in an accident.

You may also have to bear the brunt of a significant spike in your car insurance rates.

How Distracted Driving Can Impact Your Insurance Rates in Louisiana?

Your car insurance company will be notified if you receive a citation for distracted driving in Louisiana. How this will impact your insurance premium depends mainly on the insurance carrier you’re using and your overall driving history. 

On average, car insurance rates in Louisiana increase by about $16 per month following a distracted driving violation.

Additionally, if you’ve got a safe driver discount, you may have to give up on that benefit. 

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers: A Proven Track Record Of Impactful Legal Triumphs In Louisiana  

If you or a loved one have been injured in a distracted driving accident in Louisiana, seeking the guidance of a Louisiana car accident lawyer can be essential in proving fault and securing the compensation you deserve.

At Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers, our distracted driving accident lawyers in Louisiana can help by investigating the accident thoroughly. This process involves talking to witnesses, examining the accident scene, and reviewing available video footage or police reports.

This will help our legal team to understand what happened and how the accident occurred. Gathering as much evidence as possible makes it much more straightforward to demonstrate the driver’s negligence and prove that the at-fault driver was distracted.

As an attorney with an impressive track record and credentials in representing clients in complex car accident cases, attorney Bart Bernard knows when a case needs to settle and what is a reasonable amount given the particular circumstances of your distracted driving case.

His reputation and track record for winning millions of dollars in verdicts for clients give our Louisiana personal injury law firm an added advantage in every negotiation. Call us or contact us online today to schedule an initial consultation.

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