Rhode Island Texting and Driving Accident Attorney
Millions of car crashes happen every year due to cell phone use, particularly texting and driving. The activity is not only dangerous, but it is also against the law in Rhode Island. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a driver who was texting, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more.
At Bottaro Law, we advocate for the rights of accident victims throughout Rhode Island. Our attorneys know how to investigate an accident, negotiate with the insurance companies, and demand the total compensation you deserve.
Contact our offices today for a free case review with a texting and driving accident lawyer in Rhode Island and find out what our firm can do for you.
Is It Illegal to Text and Drive in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has adopted a law making it illegal for a driver to hold a cell phone or other wireless electronic device while operating a vehicle. That means a driver is not allowed to hold a cell phone to talk, read or compose a text message, check email, or look at social media. Drivers are also barred from using headphones or other devices that cover both ears. However, drivers may use text-to-speech, speech-to-text, or other hands-free systems to send and hear text messages while behind the wheel.
Rhode Island’s cell phone law is a primary offense, which means a police officer can initiate a traffic stop if they observe someone holding a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. The officer does not need to witness any other traffic violations to stop a driver who violates the cell phone law.
Conviction carries a $100 fine, although a first-time offender can have the fine waived by providing the court with proof of purchase of a hands-free device.
Why Is Texting While Driving Dangerous?
Texting while driving is dangerous because it distracts a driver in three ways:
- Manual distraction – Taking one or both hands off the wheel
- Visual distraction – Taking eyes off the road
- Cognitive or mental distraction – Thinking about things other than the task of driving
On average, reading a text message takes five seconds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In that short time, a vehicle going 55 mph will have traveled the length of a football field without the driver being fully aware of what’s happening around them – more than enough time and space to cause a severe accident.