Distracted driving is a serious danger on Alaska’s roadways. In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 450,000 more were injured in distracted driving crashes across the United States. In fact, you are 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves the three main types of distractions. The three main types of distractions include:
- Visual – the driver takes their eyes off of the road
- Manual – the driver takes a hand or hands off the steering wheel
- Cognitive – the driver’s mind is not focused on the act of driving
Alaska has potentially severe penalties for drivers caught texting while driving. Texting and driving is a Class A Misdemeanor and includes up to $10,000 fine and 1 year in prison. Injuring someone while texting and driving is a Class C Felony with up to $50,000 fine and 5 years in prison. The penalty increases to a Class B Felony with up to $100,000 fine and 10 years in prison if someone is seriously injured due to texting and driving. Finally, if someone is killed, texting and driving is a Class A Felony with up to a $250,000 fine and 20 years in prison.
And even though Alaska has banned texting while driving, the drivers themselves need to exercise common sense. When behind the wheel, drivers should put the phone down entirely. If a driver must send a text, pull over to a safe area on the side of the road or into a parking lot to complete that task.
By using some precaution, a driver can decrease the likelihood of being in a car accident by not allowing themselves to be distracted by their phones. However, if you or a family member has had the misfortune of being injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney.