There’s no question that texting and driving in Connecticut is a huge source of distraction. Unfortunately, this is something that results in countless accidents, injuries, and fatalities every year.
If you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have rights. One right is to recover compensation from the at-fault party. The best way to protect your rights in this situation is to hire car accident lawyers from Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. Keep reading to learn more about the laws in Connecticut and what to do if you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver.
Understanding Connecticut’s Laws Related to Texting and Driving
A driver who uses a cell phone or another electronic device while driving may face traffic violations. However, there are some situations where cases of distracted driving also result in criminal charges. This is the case if the accident results in someone’s death.
Some of the charges a person may face if they are found to cause an accident while distracted include:
- Cases of negligent homicide using a motor vehicle: If someone causes the death of another person because they were negligent while driving, they can be charged with this. If convicted, the individual may face up to three years in prison and fines of $3,500.
- Cases of misconduct using a motor vehicle: If someone causes another person’s death because of criminal negligence while driving a car, they can face this charge. Usually, criminal negligence involves the at-fault party not paying attention to significant risks in a manner that deviates from how a reasonable individual would act. If this happens, it is the individual faces class D felony charges, and if convicted, a person faces one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Charges of manslaughter in the second degree: If a person causes another person’s death by acting in a reckless manner, they can be charged with this. A reckless action is a conscious disregard for how certain behaviors are risky. The offense is a Class C felony and if you are convicted, you will face a prison sentence of one to 10 years and fines of up to $10,000.
Understanding Distracted Driving in Connecticut
Distracted driving is considered one of the top causes of car accidents in the U.S. It causes thousands of deaths each year and another hundreds of thousands of injuries.
Cases of distracted driving take on several different forms. Usually, any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off of the road ahead or their hands off of the wheel or keeps them from concentrating on what is going on, is considered a distraction.
Prohibiting the Use of Handheld Cell Phones
Based on the distracted driving laws in Connecticut, no driver is allowed to do anything besides operating a vehicle if it interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle.
More specifically, in the state of Connecticut, it is illegal for a driver to talk or text while using a handheld cell phone. Usually, hands-free devices are allowed, but only to drivers who are 18 years old or more. New drivers aren’t allowed to use any type of electronic device while they are driving. The bans are for main offenses, which means that the authorities don’t require any other reason to pull you over (such as running a red light or speeding). If someone is caught using a cell phone or another type of banned device, that is all the reason the police need to pull you over.
However, there are some exceptions if there is an emergency situation.
Your Rights if You Are Involved in an Accident with a Distracted Driver
If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you have rights. One right is to recover compensation for your losses and injuries. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, our Connecticut car accident lawyers will work to help you prove your case and help you secure the maximum amount of compensation possible for your situation.
Distracted driving is a serious issue throughout the state and our attorneys are here to help you fight the charge you are facing. Contact us today for a free consultation.