Travel, Texting and Driving
The holidays are a time of reflection, celebration and family, and often involve traveling long distances to visit loved ones. Unfortunately, with the advent of cell phones and text messaging, inattentive driving has become a hazard and it is a growing cause for deadly car accidents.
Texting and Driving in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, using a cell phone while driving is against the law for any driver under 18 or those with an instruction permit or probationary license. This includes handheld and hands-free cell phones. Texting, on the other hand, is completely banned under Wisconsin law when a vehicle is in motion—regardless of a driver's age or license type.
Yet, how exactly do police know if you are texting while driving? What if you are just changing a song on your smartphone or putting it on silent?
Well, they do not know. However, the texting law (also known as the Inattentive Driving Statute) can be a point of primary enforcement, meaning it can be the main or only reason an officer stops you. While an exception will be made if you are in an emergency situation, breaking the texting law can result in a four-point inattentive driving ticket and fine. If you only have an instruction permit, you have to wait an additional six months in order to receive your probationary license.
Points on a license and a fine are not the only consequences of driving while texting. In 2011 alone, at least 23 percent of car accidents involved cell phones. This means 1.3 million crashes may have been caused while using a cell phone in a car to either text, check email, or talk on the phone.
If you text and drive, there is a higher chance you will crash your car and either hurt yourself, your passengers, other drivers, or even pedestrians. In fact, text messaging makes you 23 times more likely to crash your car.
Car accidents are life changing events for all parties involved. A driver who texts while driving faces a very high chance of killing or seriously injuring another person or him or herself.
If you are involved in an automobile accident when texting and driving, in addition to receiving points on your license, you may be liable for the following:
- Medical costs;
- Pain and suffering costs;
- Property damage;
- Insurance payments; and
- Wrongful death claims.
Contact a Wisconsin Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident, contact one of our Green Bay car accident lawyers and Appleton car accident lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. today. We have offices located in Appleton, Green Bay, New London and Oshkosh. We will carefully review the facts of your case and help you receive the compensation you deserve.