Distracted driving has become one of the most significant safety scourges on Alabama roads. Most people will notice at least one or two other drivers in traffic who don’t have their eyes on the road and any given day. Giving those drivers plenty of space could be a smart move.
Distracted driving can lead to people behaving erratically at the wheel or failing to notice the vehicle in front of them stopping, both of which can cause collisions. What do Alabama motorists need to know about distracted driving risks?
Device use while driving is against the law
Alabama has implemented a statute prohibiting the manual use of mobile devices while in control of a motor vehicle. People must use hands-free systems if they want to complete phone calls or talk-to-text systems to respond to SMS messages or emails. Anyone caught with a device in their hand could receive a citation from a police officer or might face personal responsibility for any crash that results from their distraction.
Distraction involves more than just phones
A restrictive definition of distracted driving benefits no one. The truth is that phones are only the most obvious source of distraction at the wheel. Distractions while driving can involve eating or grooming. It can occur because of conversations with passengers or the use of hands-free technology. Anything that takes someone’s focus off of traffic safety is potentially a distraction that could cause a crash. Parents, in particular, are often at elevated risk of distraction when they have their kids in the vehicle with them.
Distracted drivers are often liable for crashes
When someone eats their breakfast on the way to work or reads text messages during rush hour traffic, they don’t just break traffic safety laws. They endanger themselves and others. If distracted drivers cause crashes, the other people affected can hold them accountable. So long as police officers putting together a crash report know about the distraction, they can declare the distracted driver the party at fault for the wreck. The others affected by the collision may then be able to file a liability insurance claim for a personal injury lawsuit.
Ideally, safe drivers can give distracted drivers plenty of space and traffic, as recognizing the danger of distraction can help people prioritize safety. Understanding this safety issue can also help injured crash victims to demand accountability from others who fail to stay alert and focused and who cause harm as a result of this failure.