Driving with Distractions – Louisiana Texting Negligence

Currently in Louisiana, there is no law prohibiting most drivers from using handheld cell phones behind the wheel. Act 665 does prohibit drivers from texting, and there are numerous restrictions on handheld devices for such individuals like bus drivers and beginner drivers (those under the age of 18).

Some laws are enforced upon discovery after you have been pulled over for a more serious violation. However, the nature of these laws gives a police officer cause to pull a driver over upon witnessing the violation. Individuals caught texting while driving can expect a fine of $175 for their first offense and $500 for further violations.

Liability for the Texter?
New Jersey, like Louisiana bans texting while driving, and the state is mulling over whether liability can extend past the distracted texting driver to the at-home texter. The New Jersey Appeals Court is currently reviewing a dismissed complaint from two injured motorists. The pair was hurt while motorcycling in Morristown, NJ when a teenage driver, distracted by texting, crashed into their motorcycle. Both plaintiffs lost a leg in the accident. They filed suit against both the teen driver and the remote texter accusing her of “aiding and abetting”. The teen’s insurance settled with the plaintiffs for $500,000 but victims pushed onward to place liability with the texter.

In their oral arguments, the attorney for the plaintiffs cited the need to impose liability on those who know the individual they are texting is driving. In the hours leading up to the accident, the driver and texter exchanged over 60 texts. The arguments continued between whether the texter was responsible for the driver looking at the texts, whether the texter intended the message to be read at that moment, and whether she knew at that exact moment he was driving.

The Safety of Voice-to-Text Devices
Texting is a clearly a safety hazard to drivers and those that share the road. The use of the hands and the diverted vision to construct a message both lead to danger but a recent study done at Texas A&M University reveals that hands-free devices may present comparable dangers.

The research included over 40 participants driving a track distraction-free, then typing texts, then using voice-to-text software to make a text. The researchers learned that whether the driver was texting or voice-to-text texting their average reaction time was doubled. The drivers did feel safer using voice-to-text; the difference was not significant. Some of the conclusions have to do with the concentration with using typical voice-to-text software and the need to carefully proofread and correct the errors.

The Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Cardone Law are committed to zealous, knowledgeable, dedicated advocacy for their clients. Our attorneys have exceptional experience handling insurance issues, calculating damages, managing evidence discovery, settlement negotiation, and personal injury litigation. If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of someone’s negligent driving, Cardone law can help. Those in and around the New Orleans area can contact Cardone Law for a free confidential consultation at 504-522-3333 or online.

Injured? Phone Cardone. 504-522-3333.

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