People go through life thinking that if they had been a few seconds earlier or a few seconds later, such-and-such would not have happened.
So it is with car crashes and texting. Maryland law prohibits drivers from using hand-held devices while operating a vehicle, yet texting while driving continues to cause roadway disasters. Looking away from the road for a few seconds can literally be life or death.
Understanding the law
Maryland law bans use of a hand-held cellphones while driving. Drivers may call 911 in an emergency or use a cellphone for a similar GPS purpose. The law is chiefly meant to outlaw texting while driving (sending or reading text messages). But merely talking on the phone while driving is a distraction and is not allowed under the statute.
- Texting while driving is punishable by fines up to $500. It is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement does not need any other reason to pull the driver over.
- Making a phone call is subject to a $40 fine on the first offense, and $100 fine thereafter. This is a secondary offense, meaning that police must have another reason such as speeding or weaving in the lane.
- Under “Jake’s Law,” causing an accident while talking or texting on a handheld phone is a felony, punishable by prison time.
Maryland Drivers may use hands-free cellphones for conversations.
Technology has become a major part of everyone’s lives. Unfortunately, many teens and adults believe they can text and drive simultaneously. However, investigators have found that cellphones are involved half of all the vehicle accidents that occur each year in the United States.
On average, 11 teens die every day on U.S. roads because they were texting while driving. Even though a person may be the most disciplined driver who refrains from any sort of cellphone use behind the wheel, there is no way of knowing what the motorist in the vehicle approaching at 60 mph is doing with his or her device.
How can they prove that a driver was texting when a car crash occurred? If cellphone use is suspected, a thorough investigation will commence on behalf of a victim who sustained injuries. For example, the phone records of the driver who was at fault can produce telling evidence. They can tell if the driver was using the phone at the time of the crash. Sometimes they can tell which apps the driver was using, or even reconstruct text conversations leading up to the accident. Such evidence is typically admissible in court in a texting while driving accident case.
When there are injuries involved, a negligent driver is looking at the possibility of additional hefty fines and jail time. Texting can cause a crash to occur in as little as three to five seconds, and the law is on the side of an injured victim.