Several distractions can cause a driver to crash. However, Michigan law only prohibits texting while driving. The law’s limited scope fails to account for drivers watching videos, reading online content, and posting on social media. Recently, state lawmakers proposed multiple distracted driving laws to address this issue. Their efforts may be paying off. Earlier this year, three distracted driving bills advanced through the state legislature. Here is more on the Michigan distracted driving laws passed by the House.
What is Distracted Driving?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines distracted driving as when a driver operates a motor vehicle while not paying attention. This may include engaging in activities such as texting, looking at your phone, eating, using your vehicle’s GPS, or otherwise not paying attention to or watching the road.
There are three main types of distracted driving:
- Visual Distraction—engaging in an activity to takes your attention away from driving,
- Manual Distraction—taking your hands off of the vehicle’s wheel while driving
- Cognitive Distraction—Not paying attention or being mindful while driving
The Prevalence of Distracted Driving Accidents
In 2019, The National Highway Traffic and Safety Admiration data revealed that 9 people are killed each day in accidents involving distracted drivers. Additionally, according to the CDC, in 2019, more than 3,100 people were killed, and approximately 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers.
Michigan statistics show that in 2020, 5.8 percent of Michigan crashes involved a distracted driver. That same year, there were 14,236 Michigan motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, 48 of which resulted in a death. The state also saw 5,560 injuries involving distracted driving. Most of these crashes were rear-end accidents, and in 40.9% of the cases, the driver was using their cell phone.
Michigan Distracted Driving Laws
Currently, Michigan law only prohibits reading, typing, or sending texts while driving a motor vehicle. Drivers caught texting while driving are subject to fines. Critics of the statute argue that the state’s law is insufficient to address the safety risks caused by distracted driving. Recently, the Michigan state legislature moved forward with three bills designed to address this issue.
Proposed Michigan Distracted Driving Laws
In January, the Michigan House passed three bills designed to modernize the state’s distracted driving law.
HB 4277—Seeks to prohibit the use of all mobile electronic devices unless they are placed in hand-free mode. The law would also specify that a driver cannot watch, record or transmit videos or access, post, or read social media.
HB 4278—Seeks to raise the penalty for distracted driving. Under the proposed bill, a driver would be fined $100 for their first offense and $250 for their second offense, and every offense after that. The law would also require that a point be added to the distracted driver’s license for the first offense and two points be added for any additional violations.
HB 4279—Would prohibit all cell phone use for teenagers while driving, except for reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, or serious road hazards or if the driver believes they are in danger. Teens would also be able to use a cell phone to report the perpetration of a criminal act against another person.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Every day. Michigan motorists, passengers, and pedestrians are at risk because of distracted driving. When a driver is not paying attention, there can be grave consequences. If you or a loved one have been injured due to a distracted driving accident, it’s crucial that you work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you get equitable compensation for your damages.
Distracted driving personal injury cases can be complicated. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and take the necessary steps to recover the damages you need and deserve.
Contact The Dailey Firm, P.C.
For decades, the Dailey Law Firm, P.C., has represented personal injury victims and their families. We fight for our clients to get the compensation they deserve. Our firm knows what to do to protect your interests during your distracted driving personal injury case and is ready to help.
We proudly serve clients throughout Michigan, Indiana, Chicago, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, and throughout the United States. If you or a loved one have been injured due to distracted driving, it’s crucial that you act now to protect your right to compensation. Contact The Dailey Law Firm P.C.’s knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.