Is Texting and Driving a Crime in Alaska?
You wouldn’t read a book while driving, would you? You wouldn’t play a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with your friend sitting in the passenger’s seat, and you definitely wouldn’t set up your laptop on the dashboard so you could watch a movie or catch up on some work.
Driving inherently requires multitasking. Even the simplest act—like changing lanes on the highway—requires several different smaller actions to be performed at the same time. For this reason, the thought of driving while reading or watching a movie seems pretty terrifying.
Is texting on your cell phone really much different?
When we hear a ring or a buzz, most of us reach for our cell phones instantly. At Ringstad Law Office, P.C., we understand just how easy it is to reach for the phone while driving. But we also know that texting and driving is one of the most common types of distracted driving, and it’s also one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report recently titled “Curbing Distracted Driving: 2013 Survey of State Safety Programs” which looks at how distracted driving impacts road safety across the country. Before we take a look at how distracted driving affects the roads of Fairbanks, Alaska, let’s take a quick look at some of the most important findings of the GHSA survey:
- Almost nine in 10 drivers believe that talking on the phone while driving is either a “somewhat serious” or “very serious” problem for personal safety.
- More than 19 out of 20 drivers believe that texting, emailing, or updating social media posts while driving is even more dangerous than talking on the phone.
- Seven in 10 drivers admitted to talking on the phone while driving at least one time in the past 30 days.
- One in three drivers admitted to reading a text or an email while driving at least one time in the past 30 days.
- More than one in four drivers admitted to typing or sending a text or email while driving at least one time in the past 30 days.
In other words, the majority of Americans believe that using electronic devices while driving is a serious problem, but we still have a hard time kicking the habit. This is why states are passing more laws that aim to decrease the number of drivers who talk and text behind the wheel.
What exactly are the regulations on cell phone usage while driving in the state of Alaska?
According to the Alaska Department of Administration Division of Motor Vehicles, “Alaska has a law aimed at reducing driver distraction. It is illegal to drive with a visual screen device operating. Texting while driving is prohibited by the law.”
Alaska doesn’t have a law against talking on your cell phone while driving, although several other states do. As of February 2016, Alaska is one of 26 states that prohibits all drivers from texting on any electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.
If you are in a car accident where the other driver was distracted, you may wish to seek a settlement for any personal injuries or property damage that affected you. However, talking on your cell phone is still distracted driving and a cause of car accidents
Texting and driving is just one aspect of distracted driving; from putting on makeup to eating breakfast on-the-go, there are many different things that can fall under the category of distracted driving. If you’ve been involved in a distracted driving accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Ringstad Law Office, P.C. today.