The Problem of Cell Phones and Dangerous Driving Distractions

Driver is texting and not concentrating on the roadDuring the year 2015 alone, 3,477 lives were lost due to distracted driving. In Alaska, distracted driving is defined as reading, sending, or receiving a text message. This can be done using a cell phone, or from any other text-messaging–enabled device. Distracted driving is banned for drivers of all ages.

Other forms of cellphone use, such as placing and receiving calls, are legal for drivers in Alaska. Both handheld and hands-free cell phone use is permitted. Some states prohibit cell phone usage by new drivers or school bus drivers, but Alaska does not.

Legal Penalties for Distracted Driving

Alaska has the harshest distracted driving penalties of any state. Texting while driving has been illegal in Alaska since 2012.

  • Texting and driving is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $10,000 and up to a year in prison.
  • If the collision results in injury, the charge becomes a Class C felony, with a fine of up to $50,000 and five years in prison.
  • If someone is seriously injured, it is a Class B felony, with a fine of up to $100,000 and ten years in prison.
  • If someone is killed, the charge is a Class A felony, with a fine of up to $250,000 and 20 years in prison.

Liability

If it is possible to prove that the driver was texting, you will have a very strong case against the other driver. If a driver causes an accident while texting, he is legally liable for the damage he has caused. Recoverable damages may include:

  • Medical bills: Doctor’s bills, hospital bills, and emergency room expenses.
  • Property damage: Repairs to your vehicle and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
  • Lost wages; Reimbursement of lost income resulting from the accident.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish.

You Need an Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a collision with a distracted driver, you deserve compensation. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C., by using the form on this page.