Distracted driving is dangerous. In 2020, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Eight percent of fatal crashes and 14 percent of injury crashes in the same year were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
If you’ve been involved in a distracted driving accident, our Little Rock car accident attorneys are here to help you. We’ll work hard to get you the justice you deserve and the compensation you need to recover.
Call Minton Law Firm at 501-794-0001 to arrange your free consultation with our distracted driving attorneys. Or, contact us online so we can get in touch and review the facts of your case.
What is Distracted Driving?
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
Distracted driving behaviors include:
- Sending or reading a text
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers in your vehicle
- Using the navigation system in your car or on your phone
- Adjusting the heat or air conditioning
- Paying attention to pets or kids in your car
- Fiddling with your stereo
Even though these behaviors seem mild compared to drunk driving, for example, they can be just as deadly. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. When driving at 55 mph, the NHTSA compares that to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Arkansas Distracted Driving Laws
Violating Arkansas’ distracted driving laws can be costly, in addition to being dangerous for you and other motorists. For example, Arkansas law prohibits using a phone to text, type, write an email, or access the internet while driving — regardless of driver age.
If a law enforcement officer observes you driving distracted, they can stop you for that behavior alone; no other traffic violation (such as speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign) has to be observed. That is called a primary enforcement law in Arkansas, which means you can be cited for driving distracted on its own.
The fines for distracted driving can range from up to $250 for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, fines can range up to $500.
With distracted driving incidents on the rise, Arkansas law enforcement officers joined the nationwide effort in 2021 to raise awareness and enforce the law. The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” effort is led by the NHTSA every year in April.
What an Arkansas Injury Lawyer Can Do for You
If you’ve been involved in a distracted driving accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can wade through the details and determine exactly what went wrong to build an effective case for you.
Having someone with experience and knowledge of the law is especially important in Arkansas, where we follow contributory negligence laws. These laws assign fault based on each party’s contribution to a crash.
For example, if you or another driver is texting when an accident occurs, this information could dramatically affect how much fault is assigned to each party, and subsequently how much compensation is available for injuries.
Compensation for distracted driving accident victims can cover:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages or lost earning potential
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If a loved one was killed in a distracted driving accident, our attorneys may be able to help your family pursue damages through a wrongful death claim.
Let Minton Law Firm Help
Texting while driving is illegal in Arkansas — period. While some distracted driving behaviors can be tricky to define or observe, some, like texting, are noticeable — and illegal. The impact of a distracted driving crash can be life-changing and far-reaching. These types of crashes can affect victims, victims’ families, and the community at large.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, let the Minton Law Firm investigate the possibility of distracted driving. Call 501-794-0001 today or tell us what happened online to set up a free initial consultation. We welcome clients from the greater Little Rock and Benton areas, and throughout Arkansas. For more resources and news, you may also follow Minton Law on Facebook.