David A. Zipfel & Associates, LLC Articles Distracted Driving Laws in Connecticut

Distracted Driving Laws in Connecticut

By David A. Zipfel & Associates, LLC  Oct. 28, 2013 11:00a

It has become common knowledge that distracted driving has become a leading cause of traffic accidents. Distracted driving is a negligent form of driving which generally involves using a cell phone or texting while behind the wheel. It can also involve any form of activity which takes the driver's attention off the road such as eating, drinking, grooming, adjusting devices and equipment, or dealing with children or other passengers. Research conducted by various organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has shown that texting while driving is particularly dangerous as it causes drivers to look away for several seconds at a time. Combine this with driving at highway speeds and it becomes an activity of essentially driving blind.

Connecticut has enacted several laws to prevent this negligent and dangerous type of driving. Under current Connecticut law, it is illegal for all drivers to use handheld cell phones while driving and all drivers are banned from texting. Both handheld and hands-free cell phone usage is banned for bus drivers and novice drivers under the age of 18. On October 1 of this year, a new law regarding distracted driving went into effect. Public Act 13-271 raises the penalties and fines for those who are found to be using cell phones or other handheld devices while driving. The DMV will assess one point on the driving record of anyone convicted of distracted driving. Fines will increase from $125 to $250 for a first offense, from $250 to $300 for a second offense, and from $400 to $500 on a third offense. Insurance companies will also now take into account distracted driving violations when calculating auto insurance rates for their clients.

Hartford Personal Injury Firm

Aside from the traffic violation, fines, points accrued on one's driving record, and potential increase in insurance rates, anyone who causes a traffic accident because of driving while texting or using a cell phone may face civil legal action. Those who are injured and the families of those who lose a loved one because a driver was texting while driving have the right to pursue an injury or wrongful death claim. These innocent victims may have many damages and losses, from the medical expenses associated with their injuries or their family member's injuries prior to death to loss of wages or income as well as pain and suffering.

Claims based on distracted driving are only type of case that a personal injury lawyer may handle. David A. Zipfel & Associates, LLC is a personal injury firm with three offices in Connecticut which represents clients in all types of negligence-based car accidents, construction accidents, dog attacks, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, and more. This firm has been serving clients in the Hartford area since 1978. With more than 34 years of experience, this legal team has the knowhow, skills, and commitment to deliver results. If you have been harmed through negligence, contact the firm to discuss your case with an attorney as soon as possible. You will pay nothing upfront as the firm takes all cases on a contingency fee basis.

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