Beware of Distracted Driving in North Dakota

distracted driving criminal law fargo nd

April is Distracted Driving Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and the laws in place to prevent people from making themselves vulnerable to distractions while driving. You are more likely to cause a car accident if you are unable to concentrate on driving, and the reason for your lack of concentration could be drunkenness, lack of sleep, your cell phone, changing stations on your radio, the list goes on. There are laws against drunk driving.  Truck drivers have to observe strict rules about rest periods in order to avoid being drowsy while driving.

Where Does North Dakota Stand on Cell Phone Use While Driving? 

North Dakota does not universally ban the use of cell phones, or even all hand-held devices, while driving. While texting while driving is against the law for everyone and is punishable by a $100 fine. Only certain classes of drivers are prohibited from talking on a cell phone while driving.

For example, drivers under the age of 18 may never use a cell phone while driving.  Additionally, school bus drivers are absolutely prohibited from using cell phones while driving. The ban only applies when they are driving school buses; when they are not at work and are driving their private vehicles, they are subject to the same distracted driving laws as everyone else.

How Dangerous are Technology-Related Distractions?

Cell phone distractions present a serious danger to drivers. In 2014, 14% of car accidents in the United States involved at least one driver who was distracted by a cell phone. The problem is not just that using a cell phone to talk or sending a text message which requires you to take one or both hands off of the steering wheel, although that also contributes to the problem. While taking your eyes off the road to read a text message is certainly dangerous, the biggest problem is that cell phones and similar devices take your attention away from the road, plain and simple.

Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys About Distracted Driving Cases

Distracted driving can cause injuries and all sorts of legal problems. It could leave you in need of a personal injury attorney or a criminal defense attorney. In either case, professional legal advice can help mitigate the problems caused by distracted driving. Contact O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys in Fargo, North Dakota or call 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002 to discuss your case.