Texting while driving is illegal and is also a form of negligence

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The desire to remain in constant contact has a negative impact on public safety. People who feel compelled to quickly respond to every incoming text message or email may have a difficult time prioritizing safety while driving. Most states, including Washington and Florida, have enacted laws that make it a traffic violation to manually operate a mobile device while in control of a motor vehicle. Some people do find the laws a bit confusing in part because they are different in every state. Of course, that confusion is hardly an excuse for texting while driving and causing a crash.

Some people may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash specifically because there is evidence that another driver had their device in hand when the crash occurred. People may sometimes also be able to take legal action by pointing out that texting while driving is negligent behavior as well as misconduct.

Why is distracted driving a clear case of negligence?

People sometimes find the concept of negligence a bit confusing. Negligence involves doing something that is unsafe or failing to do certain things that would be necessary for optimal safety. When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit based on claims of negligence, a person needs to meet a specific standard.

Establishing negligence in the civil courts means that the situation must be one where a reasonable person would agree with the plaintiff. If a typical adult would agree that a situation required certain actions for the safety of others, the failure to take those actions would likely constitute negligence. If someone engages in behavior that other people readily acknowledge could decrease their overall safety, that situation could also constitute negligence.

The vast majority of adults acknowledge that texting while driving and other forms of distraction are very unsafe. Therefore, even without a citation issued against the driver, someone who can prove that another driver used a mobile device at the wheel may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. They could likely also leverage the state statute prohibiting mobile device use as evidence that the other driver engaged in misconduct that is also actionable.

Learning about negligence standards and local traffic laws can help people determine if they have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit after a car crash involving distraction causes injuries and financial losses.