Michigan Texting and Driving Injury Lawyers
I was reading the newspaper online today and read about another horrible car wreck involving a person who was texting while driving. Although the investigation is still pending, it appears a woman driving a mini-van travelling on M55 in Iosco County collided with the rear of a farm combine. Investigations believe the woman, who died at the scene, may have been texting while driving.
These types of reports are so tragic and difficult to digest. Before the proliferation of cell phones, this same woman would have been driving on that same road and would have gotten to her intended destination without any problems. But cell phones have created an enormous amount of trouble for Michigan drivers and passengers.
In fact, a study from a few years ago found that texting and driving is now the leading cause of death for teenage drivers.
What is the Michigan Texting and Driving Law?
The legislature addressed this issue a few years ago when it enacted MCL 257.602b. Under this statute, no person can read, type of send a text message on a 2-way communication device, like a cell phone, while operating a motor vehicle that is moving on a Michigan highway or street.
In addition, a person operating a commercial motor vehicle or school bus cannot use a hand-held cell phone to conduct voice communication.
Under the law, using a hand-held cell phone is considered any of the following:
(1) Using at least 1 hand to hold a mobile telephone to conduct a voice communication
(2) Dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button.
(3) Reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position.
Violation of the law is a civil infraction and provides a $100.00 fine for the first violation and $200.00 for a second or subsequent violation.
The Text Can Wait – Get There Safely
This law was enacted to protect all Michigan motorists, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists from the problems that attach to cell phone use. Simply looking down at your cell phone for even one second while driving a car can have grave consequences.
Yet, the number of people driving while texting, or surfing the Internet on their cell phones while driving only seems to be increasing. Although the statute has very good intentions, it is extremely difficult to enforce. Catching somebody in the act of texting by law enforcement is a requirement to fine an offender, and often it is difficult to prove.
Various safety organizations have called on cellular phone companies and other telecommunication entities to better manage texting and driving. But these companies have zero financial incentive to stop people from using their product.
The least we call all do is abide by and follow the law. Do not text or look at your cell phone when driving. That text can wait until you get to your destination. That quick peek at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram isn’t worth ruining your life or the life of an innocent person.
Keep both hands on the wheel, both eyes on the road, and get to where you’re going, safely.