Distracted driving has been a problem for many years, but the rise of cell phone usage has created more ways for drivers to take their attention away from the road. According to the Texting and Driving Safety website, at least 23% of all car accidents in 2011 involved the use of cell phones. The site points out that while talking on a cell phone and texting are both dangerous, texting is presents more dangers than making a phone call. Text messaging increases a crash risk by 23 times, while dialing a cell phone increases the crash risk by 2.8 times. The truth is that just talking on a cell phone increases a crash risk by 1.3 times.
Idaho’s Distracted Driving Laws
Idaho law provides that text messaging by drivers is banned on all roadways. This is a primary law, which means that you can be pulled over and given a ticket for texting even if you were not guilty of any other traffic violation. However, texting while driving is not considered a moving violation and an infraction will not add points to your driving record.
In addition to obeying the no texting while driving law, newly licensed novice drivers in Idaho are not allowed to use their cell phones to talk while driving. They can be ticketed for this offense even if they are using a hands-free headset.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident on Idaho roadways, law enforcement officers are required to list all distractions in the vehicle as part of the contributing circumstances element of their report.
Although there are laws against distracted driving, they are often criticized as being difficult to enforce and ignored by many motorists. For example, a study by the CDC found that 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 admitted to talking on their cell phone while driving in the past 30 days and 31% admitted to reading or sending texts while driving.
To stay safe on the road, consider purposely putting your phone out of reach so you won’t be tempted to text or answer calls while driving. When you encounter other drivers, give yourself extra time to react to the safety hazards they may not see because of their own distracted driving.
Holzer Edwards Can Help
The attorneys at Holzer Edwards are dedicated to representing Idaho residents and their loved ones who have been injured or experienced property damage caused by distracted driving. Please call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation.