Distracted driving accounts for roughly 1 in 4 auto accidents, and police believe that number is actually a lot higher because it’s tough to prove that someone wasn’t paying attention to the road. Inattentive and distracted driving accounted for 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries in Minnesota in 2014 alone last year, and that number will only rise as people stay glued to their devices.
Distracted Driving Crimes
Distracted driving isn’t another term for texting and driving, as there are numerous activities that can constitute distracted driving. Here are some of the more common examples:
- Excessively changing/tuning the radio.
- Programming your GPS while driving.
- Responding to email or checking Facebook or Twitter while driving.
- Reading a book while driving.
- Putting on makeup while driving.
- Fiddling with your iPod.
Those are some of the more common distracted driving traits, but any act that pulls your attention away from the road constitutes distracted driving. This means eating a cheeseburger, drinking a Pepsi or reprimanding your children in the back seat are all types of distracted driving.
Penalties for Distracted Driving
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a ticket for distracted driving can cost up to $300, but the minimum fine is $135, so either way it’s going to put a dent in your wallet.
Additionally, in an effort to combat distracted driving from young drivers – the demographic most at risk – Minnesota has enacted what is known as the Novice Driver Law. This means that drivers who are under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit are prohibited from using a cell phone at all times while behind the wheel. This doesn’t just apply to texting, this covers all types of communication, including talking with the help of a hands free device.
Stillwater Traffic Attorney
If you’ve been caught texting or Tweeting while driving, contact a Minnesota distracted driving attorney right away. We know the best way to fight these types of violations, and we can help ensure you keep all of your driving privileges. If you can any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.