Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, Louisiana law lets you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any associated property damage from the accident. In some cases, the driver may also be penalized for breaking the state’s distracted driving laws.
What Does the Law Say About Distracted Driving?
Key points to remember about Louisiana’s distracted driving law include:
- Drivers are not allowed to use their phones to read, write, or send text-based communication. This includes text messages and emails.
- Accessing, reading, and posting to social media is not allowed.
- You can’t use your phone to make calls in a school zone during posted school zone hours.
- If you have a learner’s permit or intermediate license, cell phone use is prohibited at any time unless you are making a call using hands-free technology.
First-time offenders can receive up to $500 in fines. A second or subsequent violation comes with a 60-day license suspension and up to $1,000 in fines. If the driver causes an accident, the fines are doubled. These fines are among the highest in the country.
Violations of distracted driving laws are considered a primary offense. This means you can be cited even if you are not breaking other traffic laws.
Are There Exceptions?
As with many other laws, the Louisiana distracted driving law contains several noteworthy exceptions. Drivers are permitted to use their phones when:
- Reporting a traffic accident, fire, or another emergency
- Getting help because their safety is at risk
- Reporting a crime
- Using a phone is a necessary part of their job as a first responder
- Being legally parked
GPS and navigation system use is always permissible.
What About Other Forms of Distracted Driving?
Note that Louisiana’s distracted driving laws don’t cover a number of potentially unsafe distracted driving behaviors:
- Listening to music
- Talking to passengers
- Putting on makeup
- Having pets in the vehicle
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.