Will Connecticut crackdown on distracted driving?

Distracted driving can take many forms. In some cases, a driver is distracted due to the use of a smartphone, in others it is the arguing of children in the backseat. Whatever takes a driver’s attention away from the road can be considered a distraction. Although this is a pretty broad definition, there are clearly some forms that are known to be more dangerous than others.

One such form of distraction is the use of smartphones.

Why are smartphones more dangerous than many other forms of distraction? A person can be distracted in three different ways: visual, manual and cognitive. The use of smartphones results in not one of these three distractions, but all of them. As such, many lawmakers have attempted to address the use of cellphones while driving in an effort to reduce the risk of distracted driving accidents.

Has Connecticut taken steps to reduce the risk of smartphone use and distracted driving accidents? In some ways the answer to this question is yes, the state has taken steps to address the problem of distracted driving due to cellphone use. It is illegal in the state of Connecticut to operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone. Fines for violations can cost $150 for the first offense, $300 for the second and $500 for third offenses.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation reports that there were almost 117,000 tickets given for cellphone use and distracted driving since October of 2005.

Are these changes enough? Some lawmakers feel that additional regulations are needed to truly combat the issue of distracted driving in the state. A recent publication in the Insurance Journal discusses the issue, noting that multiple proposals are currently under consideration that would further deter the use of smartphones while driving in Connecticut.

One proposition would increase the penalties for the second and subsequent violations while another would provide funding to create a task force to study various apps and technologies. This task force could gather data and provide education that could further reduce the occurrence of distracted driving.

Unfortunately, even if these proposals move forward accidents can happen. In the event of a car crash, victims of distracted driving accidents in Connecticut have options. Depending on the details of the accident, victims may be eligible to receive compensation to help cover the costs that result from the crash. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss these options and any other potential legal remedies that may exist.