Since 2010, it has been illegal to text while driving in MA. And although drivers in MA were still permitted to talk on their cell phones for the next six years, a complete ban on the use of hand-held devices while driving was passed in 2016. The ban not only applies to cell phones; drivers are prohibited from entering information into a GPS, or any other hand-held device.
Currently, the fines for violating this law are $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for the third offense.
“Although traffic accidents and deaths are dropping, the number of accidents that are caused involving cell phones are going up,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst. “A lot of people’s lives are being put in danger as a result of people who are using their cell phones, and it’s just time to sweep that source of problem off the table here.”
And make no mistake, police are enforcing these laws. A MA motor vehicle accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
Fines Aren’t the Only Potential Consequence of Texting While Driving
Getting stopped for texting while driving often leads to other violations of safe driving laws. In fact, this is a likely motivation for police to stop a driver that they suspect of texting. The distracted driver might also be intoxicated, driving recklessly, or in possession of drugs or an illegal firearm. Other potential consequences of texting while driving include:
- An increase in insurance premiums. Many insurance carriers use points for texting while driving to raise premiums.
- Criminal penalties. If texting while driving leads to serious injury or death, the driver may face criminal charges.
- A guilty conscience. Just think about the guilt you would feel if someone was seriously injured or killed while you were texting something as insignificant as “see you soon.”
Texting while driving can be devastating for everyone involved. A Boston car accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Hundreds of thousands of people are injured in distracted-driving accidents in the United States each year. The statistics below illustrate the severity of this growing problem.
- According to the National Safety Council, 1.6 million annual crashes involve cell phone use.
- Texting while driving leads to 390,000 injuries annually.
- One out of every four motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. involves texting.
- You are six times more likely to have an accident due to texting than driving drunk.
- Responding to a text typically diverts your attention from the road for at least five seconds.
- Texting is the most dangerous of all cellphone-related activities.
- According to a AAA poll, 35% of teens admit to texting while driving, even though 94 percent acknowledge it’s dangerous.
- In 21 percent of fatal teen driving accidents, a cell phone was involved.
- Teens are four times more likely than their adult counterparts to get into texting-related accidents.