Although there are about 1.6 million auto accidents related to distracted driving in the U.S every year, there is still no national ban on texting and driving as of 2021. State-level laws do exist, but penalties vary. Some states fine texting drivers, while states like Alaska have consequences that include incarceration. Statistically, teens are at a higher risk. You can read more about teenage drivers here.
What is distracted driving?
The United State’s CDC defines three different types of driving distractions:
Anything that diverts your eyes, hands, or brain from safe driving practices could be considered a distraction.
Does Washington have laws against distracted driving?
Washington is a stricter state regarding distracted driving. Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed postponing the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act until 2019, putting the bill into effect as of 2017.
Previously, Washington had already passed a bill that banned texting or talking on the phone. Only hands-free use is allowed for adults with an operator’s license. Drivers with learner’s permits cannot use a cellphone at all while driving.
Driving while eating or grooming can also land you a ticket. Circumstances vary, but the state of Washington defines distracted driving as “the act of driving while engaged in other activities that take the driver’s attention away from the road.”
Can you sue someone for causing an accident while distracted?
If you have injuries because of a negligent driver, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. It’s especially worth it if you have medicals bills or lost wages due to the accident.
Civil suits and state laws are complicated. It might be wise to speak with an attorney about any injuries from auto accidents.