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Green Bay, WI distracted driver liability attorneyDistracted driving poses a great threat to users of American roadways, especially with the prevalent use of cell phones and other mobile devices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2018, distracted driving was involved in almost 3,000 fatalities throughout the United States, but due to the challenge of identifying distracted driving, the actual number could be significantly higher. In an effort to decrease the number of car accidents, injuries, and fatalities, Wisconsin has enacted a number of state laws aimed at deterring dangerous distracted driving behavior.

Wisconsin Distracted Driving Laws

The State of Wisconsin recognizes that distracted driving is not limited to cell phone use, but rather includes any behavior that can interfere with attentive driving, such as reading, eating, personal grooming, or interacting with a passenger. Specifically, Wisconsin law prohibits:

  • Any driver from engaging in an activity that detracts from the safe operation of a vehicle. This broad statement accounts for a variety of behaviors that a police officer may detect.
  • Any driver from typing or sending by hand a text message or e-mail, with few exceptions.
  • Any driver with a probationary license or learner’s permit from using a mobile phone in any way, except to report an emergency.
  • Any driver of a commercial motor vehicle from operating a mobile phone by hand.
  • Any driver from using a mobile phone in any way, except to report an emergency, in a construction or work zone.
  • Any driver from viewing video communication or entertainment on a mobile phone or another electronic device.

As recently as the fall of 2019, Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced legislation that would prohibit handheld mobile phone use for all drivers except for in an emergency, though no such law has yet been passed. It is also important to note that any form of distracted driving can be considered negligence because it endangers other drivers, and if a distracted driver causes an accident resulting in injuries or fatalities, the affected parties can pursue a personal injury claim against the negligent driver in civil court. In cases involving death, the distracted driver may also face charges of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle.

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Green Bay distracted driving accident attorneyDistracted driving is one of the biggest health and safety concerns that affects people throughout the United States. A person may commit distracted driving if they operate a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity. This could be as simple as adjusting a car radio, changing air conditioning settings, or eating or drinking while driving. However, the most common form of distracted driving is cell phone use. These distractions can result in dangerous car accidents, and if you or a loved one have been injured in a collision that was caused by distracted driving, you should speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

The Dangers of Distracted Driving 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. While taking one’s mind off of the road (cognitive distraction) or hands off the wheel (manual distraction) can be dangerous, the most lethal form of distracted driving is taking one’s eyes off of the road (visual distraction). Taking one’s eyes off the road for five seconds is long enough for a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour to cover the length of a whole football field. Distracted driving is the leading cause of rear-end collisions in the United States, and it can also lead to multiple other types of deadly accidents, including when a distracted driver drifts into another lane and causes a head-on collision. 

Pursuing Compensation From a Distracted Driver

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 400,000 Americans are injured each year in collisions caused by distracted driving. If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, you should first seek out the necessary medical attention, and you should then contact a knowledgeable attorney. Your lawyer will go over the events that led to the accident and help you determine the cause of the collision. If distracted driving was the reason for the accident, your attorney can uncover evidence demonstrating fault, including video footage from nearby security cameras or witness testimony. Your attorney can also document the full extent of all injuries you have suffered and the costs of medical treatment, damages to your vehicle, loss of work hours, and the pain and suffering you have experienced. By providing an accurate and fair assessment of your damages, your lawyer can ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve.

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Green Bay distracted driving accident attorneysDistracted driving causes an estimated nine deaths each day and at least 1, 000 injuries, yet drivers continue to use their cell phones while behind the wheel. The car manufacturer, Audi, is trying to combat those statistics with a new type of technology. Learn more about their efforts, discover what rights you may have if a distracted driver injures you or someone you love, and obtain information on how an experienced attorney can assist with your claim in the following sections.

Audi’s Safety Code Script

Audi’s new technology, which they refer to as their “safety code script, ” works a lot like the phone applications that developers have made; it automatically detects when the device is moving at a speed that exceeds 20 miles per hour and then asks the individual to confirm whether they are driving. If the phone user does indicate that they are behind the wheel, the safety code will disable their device, preventing them from using it while they are driving.

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Wisconsin distracted driving accident lawyerTraffic deaths have increased sharply, drastically, and quickly over the past half-century. Much of the increase can be traced back to cell phone use behind the wheel. Even more concerning is that the rate continues to rise, despite the numerous campaigns, laws, and initiatives. The problem is not that drivers fail to recognize the risk. In fact, studies reveal that most drivers do know that cell phone use is unsafe. The problem is finding a way to actually deter and disconnect them from their devices. California believes they may have the answer, and if you drive in California, traffic laws in that state apply to you.

No Phones Allowed

While most states (46) have provisions in place that prohibit texting while driving, only 14 have laws that explicitly ban the use of cellphones behind the wheel. California is taking it one step further. They are completely banning even touching or handling a cell phone while driving. You cannot check the time. You cannot pull up your map application. You cannot even hold it in your hand. Period. They hope that it will work to reduce their distracted driving problem. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

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Wisconsin auto accident lawyersThe average text takes about five seconds to create and send. If traveling at 55 miles per hour in a vehicle, that means your eyes have been off the road long enough to travel the length of a football field. Of course, since your eyes are not on the road, that is like driving through the field blindfolded. If you imagine an obstacle course on that field, it is not difficult to see why texting and driving is so problematic. Yet many people do it. Tennessee is cracking down and taking a heavy-handed approach.

Just How Big is the Problem?

In 2014, more than 3, 000 people were killed in an automobile accident involving a distracted driver. Another 431, 000 were injured. Of course, the problem is much bigger. After all, not every incident of distracted driving leads to an accident. To determine just how big this problem is, one must look at self-reporting, which is fairly unreliable. In fact, while only one-third of drivers admit to texting themselves, at least two-thirds say they have seen others doing it. This is not surprising.

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