Louisiana has finally taken texting while driving seriously. It became a primary offense. Police officers can now stop and cite a driver who is texting while driving. The Opelousas Louis. auto accident lawyers at Morrow Gates & Morrow LLC applaud this legislation. The fine for the offense has been increased too. First offenders can be fined up to $500. Repeat offenders can be fined as much as $1,000. First time violators under the age of 18 face a fine of up to $250 and up to $500 for a second offense.
Texting while driving is distracted driving. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 3,477 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2015. Another 391,000 were injured.
The Three Texting Distractions
As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the three main types of distractions when a person is texting and driving follow:
- Visual when you take your eyes off of the road.
- Manual when you take your hands off of the steering wheel.
- Cognitive when you take your mind off of driving.
The CDC reports that texting when driving is particularly dangerous because it involves all three of those distractions. It said that sending or reading a text message takes about five seconds. It went on to say that’s long enough to cover the length of a football field at 55 mph.
Immediately before Louisiana’s new texting and driving law took effect, a Louisiana man who was speeding and texting lost control of his vehicle and hit three teens who were standing on a curb. That’s exactly the type of accident that the new legislation is intended to prevent.