Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. It keeps drivers from giving their full mental and visual attention to the road and it takes their hands off of the wheel. When people who get behind the wheel decide to text, they put everyone around them at risk.

Louisiana put laws into place designed to combat the use of wireless devices behind the wheel and improve safety on the road. A lot of our clients ask us about texting and driving laws in Louisiana (and just what makes texting and driving so dangerous), so we’ve put together this overview to offer some insight.

Why are Texting and Driving Laws Important?

Does Louisiana have texting and driving laws?

There’s a reason Louisiana has laws specifically designed to combat texting while driving.

Texting and driving laws are important because texting behind the wheel puts everyone at risk. People in cars, on motorcycles and bikes, walking near roads, and even in nearby buildings can all be hurt or killed when someone decides to text and drive.

When somebody operating a vehicle takes their eyes off of the road, serious consequences can take place. That’s why texting while driving is so dangerous.

Texting and Driving Laws In Louisiana

Cellphone use and texting while driving laws in Louisiana

R.S. 32:300.5 (Texting while driving) applies to all drivers:

  •  No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read a text–based communication.
  • No person shall operate any motor vehicle upon any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to access, read, or post to a social networking site.

If you violate this law…

  • …your first violation is punishable by a fine of $175
  • …any subsequent violation is punishable by a $500 fine

Can I Use My Phone In An Emergency? Can I Use My Phone For Directions?

Am I allowed to use my phone to call 911 while driving in Louisiana? 

Yes. Drivers in Louisiana can use a wireless communication device for navigational purposes to report criminal activity and emergencies. If you’re worried about your mortality, there’s a good chance that you probably don’t need to worry about the legality of using your cell phone.

Underage Texting and Driving Laws In Louisiana

Does Louisiana have special texting and driving laws for minors?

Louisiana has special texting and driving laws that apply to drivers who are under 18.

  • If you’re under 18, you can’t speak or text on a cell phone while you drive in Louisiana (unless you need to report an emergency or criminal activity)
    • If you violate this law, you’ll face a maximum fine of $250; any additional violations result in a 60-day license suspension and a maximum fine of $500; violations that involve accidents equal a doubled fine

What if I have a class E learner’s permit? How about an intermediate license?

You can’t use a cell phone while you drive, unless the device is hands-free. You can, of course, use any cell phone to report an emergency or criminal activity.

Can I be pulled over for texting and driving in Louisiana?

Yes. It is illegal to text and drive in Louisiana; texting and driving is a primary offense in the state. A police officer can pull over a driver who is texting behind the wheel. They can also issue a ticket for texting and driving.

According to the CDC, Texting Is a Three-Pronged Distraction

Texting is a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites three primary types of distractions while driving:

  • Visual distractions: These distractions take drivers’ eyes off of the road
  • Manual distractions: These distractions take a driver’s hands off of the wheel
  • Cognitive distractions: These distractions take drivers’ minds off of driving

Texting qualifies as a visual, a manual, and a cognitive distraction. The CDC states that it is especially dangerous for this reason.

Texting Prevents You From Operating Your Vehicle Appropriately

You can’t drive safely while you text

When you look away from the road to text, you increase the chances of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) makes it clear why:

  • Imagine your car is traveling at 55 miles per hour
  • If you look away from the road for five seconds, your car will cover the length of a football field

Texting while driving isn’t just dangerous for you– it’s dangerous for everybody around you. It’s why texting and driving is illegal in Louisiana. Some of the common results of texting and driving include:

  • Rear-ending others’ vehicles
  • Getting into head-on collisions while crossing a center line
  • Driving off of the side of the road
  • Slowing down a dangerous amount

Compensation After a Texting and Driving Accident

If you’ve been involved in a texting and driving accident and faced physical, emotional, or mental damage, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. A qualified car accident lawyer can help you determine whether you are eligible to recover costs associated with:

  • Medical bills necessitated by your accident. This includes past, present, and even potential future medical bills
  • Loss of wages due to time away from work or diminished earning capacity if your ability to work has permanently changed
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Do You Need A Lawyer After a Texting and Driving Accident In Louisiana? Alvendia Kelly & Demarest Can Help

In addition to assisting with texting and driving accidents, Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest also offers guidance on various other legal matters. For instance, understanding the impact of the coronavirus in New Orleans or knowing your rights after a work injury can be crucial. With events like Mardi Gras, it’s essential to be aware of safety tips and incidents like the Nyx parade accident. Moreover, if you’re considering joining or initiating a class action lawsuit, our team is here to guide you.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a texting and driving accident in Louisiana, reach out to us via the web or by phone at 504-200-2000 today.

In 2003, after being dissatisfied with the quality of legal care for victims of car accidents, Roderick ‘Rico’ Alvendia sought to establish a new firm focused on providing high-quality legal services to aid injured victims and their families. J. Bart Kelly, sharing Rico’s passion for upholding justice, joined the firm later that year, and established a partnership.

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