Distracted and texting while driving accidents are dangerous, claiming 3,450 lives in 2016 in the United States. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system–anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
Wisconsin distracted driving laws prohibit motorists from texting while operating a vehicle. Drivers are responsible for their own safety and for the safety of those around them. Fellow drivers, pedestrians and passengers are all put at risk when a driver becomes distracted.
The state of Wisconsin considers texting and driving the primary reason a motorist will become distracted. In addition to the human responsibility and civil lawsuit consequences, drivers convicted of violating these laws are subject to fines, traffic tickets and driver’s license points.
The state of Wisconsin considers any activity that causes the driver to divert his or her attention from the road to another task, a distraction. The state lists three types of driving distractions that may occur when operating a vehicle.
1. A manual distraction is when the driver’s hands are taken off of the wheel and his or her attention is forced away from the road.
2. A visual distraction is when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road and focuses on something inside or outside the vehicle.
3. A cognitive distraction involves the driver’s mind being taken off the road and not focusing on the operation of the vehicle.
Distracted driving facts in Wisconsin show that one in five automobile crashes involve a distracted driver. It is estimated that there are distracted driving accidents across Wisconsin every 22 minutes. In particular, research suggests that drivers who are using a cellphone while driving only see 50 percent of the information around them.
Under Wisconsin law, Sec. 346.89, texting and driving laws prohibit anyone from sending or receiving text messages while operating a vehicle. This activity is deemed especially dangerous, as it involves all three types of distractions mentioned above.
McCormick Law Office attorneys are experienced with texting while driving accidents settlements for medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability.