ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY DISTRACTED DRIVING IN MINNESOTA
The Car Accident Injury Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team know that distracted driving is a major cause of personal injury and death in Minnesota car accidents. In the year 2020 alone, distracted driving cause 2,612 injuries and 29 deaths in Minnesota according to statistics compiled by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The Car Accident Injury Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team know that those statistics do not accurately report many cases of distracted driving that go unreported. In fact, the majority (over 50%) of motor vehicle collisions are actually the result of distracted driving.
CAUSES OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
The causes of distracted driving are many, including the following:
CELL PHONE USAGE:
The Car Accident Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team have seen the sad results of cell phone usage, some of which have resulted in severe disabilities and some in wrongful deaths. Cell phone usage is a major cause of distracted driving. Nationally, statistics report that over 400,000 people are injured and nearly 3,000 klilled by distracted driving due to cell phone usage. Whether texting, talking, or simply looking at the cell phone, any usage of the cell phone causes a dangerous distraction for a driver. An automobile going 60 mile per hour travels 264 feet in just 3 seconds.
The Car Accident Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team have seen many sad cases involving drunk drivers, many of which have resulted in wrongful deaths. They know that a drunk driver is a distracted driver. A drunk driver is also an impaired driver. The combination is deadly.
Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a drug can cause car crashes, whether an illegal drug or a prescription drug. Many prescription drugs have warnings against driving a vehicle or operating machinery while under the influence of the drug.
CONVERSATION WITH PASSENGERS:
Driving a motor vehicle is a task which calls for 100% attention. Even a short distraction caused by conversation with a passenger can be deadly.
SLEEP IMPAIRED DRIVERS:
The Car Accident Lawyers have handled many cases where the at-fault driver was sleepy, but didn’t pull over. One involved a college student who had “pulled a all-nighter” studying for an exam and fell asleep at the wheel. Another involved a driver who was traveling through the night, driving from Chicago to Minneapolis. Both cases resulted in serious and permanent injury to the victim.
FAILURE TO PAY ATTENTION TO DRIVING:
Almost no car crashes are intentional. The large majority are the result of just plain “not paying attention” to the driving. Looking at the radio, looking at the scenery, or even looking at a map can be enough of a distraction to cause a very serious motor vehicle collision.
MINNESOTA LAWS AGAINST DISTRACTED DRIVING
Minnesota has the following laws against distracted driving.
Texting and Web Access:
Pursuant to Minnesota Traffic Laws, Minnesota Statute 169.475. it is illegal for drivers of all ages to compose, read, or send electronic messages or access the Internet on a wireless device when the vehicle use in motion or part of traffic. This includes being stopped in traffic or at a traffic signal light. This law does not apply to devices that are permanently affixed to the vehicle or global positioning our navigational systems.
Cell Phone Use and Texting:
Pursuant to Minnesota Traffic Laws, Minnesota Statute 171.05, it is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a cell phone, whether handheld or hands-free, except to call 911 in an emergency.
School Bus Drivers:
Pursuant to Minnesota Traffic Laws, Minnesota Statute 169.443, subdivision 9(B), cell phone usage is completely prohibited for school bus drivers.
Reckless of Careless Driving:
Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 169.13, distracted drivers can be ticketed for reckless or careless driving when their actions demonstrated disregard for the safety or rights of others. The statute can be used to charge distracted drivers.
The Car Accident Lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team know the dangers of distracted driving, whether “drunk driving”, “drugged driving”, “cell phone driving”, or “drowsy driving”.
MINNESOTA CAR ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYERS
The car accident personal injury lawyers at the Schmidt Salita Law Team have collectively over 100 years experience in successfully handling a wide variety of car accident injury cases. Nearly 100 have involved wrongful deaths. Many have involved serious permanent injuries.