Iowa City, IA – Distracted driving has become one of the most common causes of car collisions in both Iowa and the United States, especially due to texting and using social media while driving. It is difficult to overstate just how dangerous and problematic cellphone use while driving is for all motorists. Anyone who has been hit by a distracted driver has the right to sue them in civil court and make them pay for medical treatment and non-economic losses for pain and suffering.
Iowa laws and traffic statistics
The state’s Commissioner’s Office defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. This can include the use of cellphones and electronic devices, but also activities such as eating, drinking, using a navigation system, or even talking to others inside of the vehicle. Research from the state has shown that any of these activities greatly increases the driver of being involved in a motor vehicle accident during their trip. The state has found that drivers are four times as likely to crash while using a handheld communications device. There were over five hundred drivers killed by distracted motorists in 2015.
Ever since 2017, police officers in the state of Iowa have been granted the authority to stop drivers for distracted driving and issue citations. This amended a prior law that required an additional primary offense before the officer could stop the vehicle. Anyone who is using a cellphone and causes a fatal accident may be charged with a felony and face up to ten years in prison.
The exceptions for these laws are related to emergency workers who need to receive communications, healthcare professionals actively working, and safety related alerts and emergencies related to things such as weather and road conditions.
Lawsuits against distracted drivers and negligence laws
Any driver who was distracted and caused an accident may be sued for negligence. The negligence doctrine states that anyone who breaches the relevant duty of care expected of drivers and causes harm to others will have to pay them various types of compensation if they are found liable in a personal injury lawsuit. The plaintiff may introduce evidence of phone use or other distractions to show that the driver breached their standard duty of care while on the roads. Some defendants may choose to settle the case if evidence of their fault is clear and conclusive.
Iowa City accident attorneys
Eells and Tronvold Law Offices is a trusted law firm that helps clients in the Iowa City area. Anyone who has recently been injured can receive superior representation from a licensed attorney if they agree to have the firm handle their case.
Firm contact info:
1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400