Texting and Driving – It Might Not Be Illegal Yet, But It’s Still Dangerous
There are a number of states across the country that have implemented laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving, unless you use a hands-free device. Although not all states have taken these measures, it has become common knowledge that texting and talking on a phone while driving is dangerous to everyone on the road.
Courts interpret the circumstances of texting while driving in different ways. A recent ruling by the Arizona State Court of Appeals stated that it is appropriate to inform a jury that a person accused of causing an accident was texting while driving in the moments before an impact occurred. In the case cited, the man sent a text about one minute prior to dialing 911 after the collision, so the court decided it was reasonable to argue that he had been distracted. In this case, the end result was the death of the other motorist.
Does this change the rules of driving?
For the average driver, this ruling indicates a more tangible shift against the use of cell phones while driving. Although Arizona law does not prohibit it, texting while driving is a factor juries are allowed and encouraged to consider. The Court of Appeals ruling has significant implications in terms of the consequences drivers may face if it is determined they were using a phone at the time of a crash.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident with another driver who was using a cell phone or otherwise distracted, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer right away. You may have an opportunity to claim other drivers were negligent and collect compensation from them or their insurance companies.