The distractions caused by phones in the car are well-documented and so are the hazards of driving while distracted. What you may not know is how often these accidents occur.
Distracted-driver accidents are frequent. Just a few weeks ago in Mire, Louisiana, an 18-year-old woman was arrested for texting while driving after she drove a motorcyclist into the back of a school bus with her pickup. Three people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries and thankfully no students were hurt.
Let’s take a look at how Louisiana law protects drivers.
What is the law?
The Louisiana distracted-driver laws focus on young, inexperienced drivers and distractions. Handheld devices, primarily cellphones, are banned for all drivers with a learner’s permit or an intermediate license. Novice drivers under 18, are also banned from using hands-free devices. Handheld and hands-free devices are also banned for bus drivers.
Finally, there is a statewide ban for all drivers for reading and writing text messages while driving. These laws carry a first-offense fine of $175, with a $500 fine for repeat offenses. Also these laws are primary, meaning you can be pulled over if caught.
Is the law enough?
As the example in Mire shows, there are still instances of texting while driving throughout the state. Hefty fines can only do so much. There is a gap. What happens when someone is seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by texting and driving? Insurance companies are obligated to cover damages and injuries, but sometimes they will do everything they can to reduce the compensation amounts.
If you are ever in an accident, contact an experienced personal-injury lawyer to discuss your options.