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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 motorcycle accident lawyer distracted drivingWhile everyone who uses the road faces some level of danger, motorcyclists are particularly at risk of injury. Since they do not have the protection that cars and trucks provide to their occupants, motorcycle riders and passengers are likely to be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident

Distracted driving is one issue that can endanger motorcyclists, since even when a driver is fully attentive, they may not see motorcycles on the road around them. The increased use of cell phones in recent years has been a factor in many accidents caused by distracted driving. Fortunately, some states have taken steps to address this, and this has had a measurable effect on the safety of motorcyclists.

Improved Safety From Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use

While many people may believe that they can operate a vehicle safely while using a cell phone to make calls or send texts, this type of distraction can be incredibly dangerous. Using a handheld device causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, and even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to a dangerous collision. Because of these dangers, some states have passed laws restricting the use of cell phones while driving. But have these laws actually improved safety on the roads?

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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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Appleton trucking accident lawyersIt is no secret that distracted driving is a pervasive issue in America, but most people expect truck drivers to resist the urge. Unfortunately, they are just as likely to succumb to the temptation of their devices as everyone else. The major difference here is that their accidents are far more liable to be catastrophic in nature. Learn more about the prevalence and severity of distracted truck driver accidents, and what your rights may be, with help from the following.

Truck Driver Causes Deadly Crash in Arizona

In 2013, a truck driver moving through Arizona plowed directly into two fire trucks and three police cars that were stopped at the scene of an accident. One officer was fatally injured in that crash. Footage from his dash cam shows his wallet blocking the view of his face. His cell phone records allegedly showed him on Facebook at the time of the crash. He was charged with 20 felony charges after that accident, including a charge of second-degree murder.

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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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