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.
- According to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, almost 27,000 people were injured due to distracted driving from 2011-2015
- Texting and driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving
- NHTSA, a subset of the United States Department of Transportation, states that more than 2,800 people died due to distracted driving in 2018
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
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Do You Need A Lawyer After a Texting and Driving Accident In Louisiana? Alvendia Kelly & Demarest Can Help
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.