Texting While Driving Accidents
Texting Behind the Wheel Is Illegal in Michigan
In 2010, the Michigan state legislature passed a law which prohibits drivers throughout the state from using a cell phone to send and receive text messages behind the wheel. The reasons for this ban are easy to understand: texting while driving has often been demonstrated to be similarly dangerous to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and it places the lives of everyone on the road – not just the driver who is texting – at risk. According to the Michigan State Police, distracted driving is the leading factor in most motor vehicle accidents, with 821 of the car accidents which occurred in 2011 involving a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian who was using a cell phone. Out of all of these collisions, 21.4 percent involved departure from the lane, while nearly half of them (43.4 percent) occurred in intersections such as by running a red light or denying the right of way while turning.
Michigan's texting ban is a primary enforcement law, which means that a law enforcement officer can pull a driver over for texting and without any other cause. The law has not yet been broadly enforced, according to an analysis conducted by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. Former Michigan State Representative Paul Opsommer was quoted in an article in the Lansing State Journal, however, as saying that writing traffic tickets was not the main purpose of the law against texting and driving. Instead, the goal was to make it easier to hold drivers legally accountable for causing accidents as a result of texting behind the wheel.
Compensation for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents in Michigan
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, truck accident, pedestrian accident or bicycle accident which was caused by a driver who was texting on a cell phone, a Michigan car accident attorney from Freedman Law Group may be able to use this fact to help you recover financial compensation for your losses. Texting and driving is nothing if not negligent, and it is a risk which nobody should take, yet astonishingly, many do. AT&T's commuter survey reports that 49 percent of commuters admit to texting while driving, despite the fact that 98 percent acknowledge that it is dangerous to do so.
How a Michigan Car Accident Attorney Can Help
By taking legal action against the driver who was texting at the time of your accident, it may be possible for you to receive monetary damages to pay for all of your medical expenses and your lost income and reduced future earning power, as well as compensation for your pain, suffering and emotional distress. The evidence that the other driver was texting, and that this behavior was the cause of your accident, may be obtained from various sources. It may include the police accident report or the admission of the driver. In some cases it is necessary to subpoena the cell phone records of the driver in order to gather proof that he or she was texting at the time of the collision. Further, it may be necessary to introduce expert witnesses and research, such as the studies performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute which demonstrated that texting while driving increases the risk of being involved in an accident by 23 times. The first step is for you to contact us at Freedman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss the accident and to allow us to begin working on a strategy for you!