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Distracted Driving: Deadly Issue in Louisiana

Common sense tells us that taking our eyes off of the road while driving is dangerous behavior. When a driver is focused on a cell phone, cheeseburger or GPS navigator, he or she is unlikely to recognize risks on the road. When a driver fails to pay attention, the road is a more dangerous place, and a wandering child, a worker in a construction zone or an upcoming stop sign regulating a busy intersection can quickly turn into a tragic scenario.

New Distractions

As new technology becomes available, new driver distractions emerge. Cell phones have become a major problem for drivers in Louisiana and elsewhere. Texting and handheld cellphone use distract drivers in three different ways. Distracted driving takes a driver's eyes off of the road. It takes a driver's hands off of the steering wheel. And, distracted driving removes a driver's mind from the primary task of driving. For example, a driver who does not look at the road while traveling 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field. As a result, distraction behind the wheel significantly increases the risk of accident. According to a recent study, distracted driving increases the risk of getting into a car crash by nearly threefold.

Work Zones

Work zones are already known as dangerous places for both workers and drivers, and when distracted driving and cell phones are added to the mix, the results can be deadly. In 2010, 576 worker and motorist deaths occurred in work zones along with approximately 40,000 injuries.

Distracted Driving Laws in Louisiana

In Louisiana it is against the law to text and drive, and drivers who text behind the wheel can face a fine. While it is legal for drivers who hold standard, non-commercial driver's licenses to use handheld cellphones behind the wheel, drivers who hold learner, intermediate and commercial licenses cannot. However, drivers who use their phones behind the wheel and cause an accident face civil and possibly criminal liability.

Remedies

Distracted driving causes accidents and injuries even to innocent bystanders who follow the rules and take safety precautions. When an accident happens and distracted driving is suspected, injured parties should seek legal remedies to get the compensation they deserve.

If you or someone you know has been injured due to distracted driving, contact a personal injury lawyer to obtain compensation for the damage.

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The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
123 Saint Ferdinand Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 225-424-7388
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