A cellular phone is certainly useful, but it can quickly become a dangerous distraction when you’re behind the wheel. The National Safety Council estimates that texting while driving leads to one million traffic accidents per year. Many states completely prohibit drivers from using cellphones, but Alaska has only banned texting while driving. While other states have relatively modest texting fines, ranging from $20 to $750, Alaska imposes the harshest distracted driving penalties in America. Violators may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to one year in prison for their first offense.
Texting Isn’t Just Dangerous, It’s Also Illegal
Alaska’s distracted driving legislation went into effect in 2008. All citizens are prohibited from reading, composing, or sending text messages while they are driving.
Alaska’s anti-texting laws are considered “primary” legislation. This means that an officer may pull someone over and issue a ticket for texting without first having to witness some other violation.
Texting while driving is a misdemeanor. However, if the driver is involved in an accident that injures or kills someone, he will be charged with a felony.
Hold The Wheel, Not Your Phone
Talking on your cellphone while driving is legal in Alaska, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. The National Safety Council warns drivers that any type of cognitive distraction may result in:
- Failure to notice visual cues. Trying to hold a cellphone conversation can cause a driver to miss up to half of the stimuli in his environment.
- Slower response times. Mentally switching back and forth between processing language and watching the road can limit a driver’s ability to quickly react to changing conditions.
You Deserve Compensation
If you’ve been injured in a collision with a distracted driver, you’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. When you’re the victim of driver inattention or negligence, you need legal representation. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C., by using the form on this page.