Distracted Driving Explained
One of the more common types of moving violations that drivers tend to overlook is distracted driving. When many people think of traffic fines, the first things that often come to mind are tickets for speeding and drunk driving, but distracted driving is another type of infraction that can be have severe penalties in fines as well as jail time. There are many different ways drivers can become distracted while driving.
One of the most common types of distraction is manual. If your hands leave the wheel to do anything, whether it’s making adjustments on the radio or reaching for items, you can be considered to be manually distracted. Some drivers also do things like eat or put on makeup while driving, not only endangering themselves but others on the road.
Many manual distractions also fall under the category of visual distractions, such as putting on makeup, looking up directions and changing the radio station. Looking through a purse or bag also causes drivers to become visually and manually distracted. Taking your eyes off the road for any reason can lead to distracted driving and hefty traffic fines.
There are many ways drivers can become cognitively distracted. Having other people in the car talking to them can take their focus off the road, while being mentally distracted can also lead them to neglect details that can affect their driving. Parties involved in road rage also often become distracted by their anger and make poor decisions. Drugs and alcohol can also cause drivers to become cognitively impaired and unfit to operate a vehicle.
While several of these actions fall under more than one type of distraction, texting while driving encompasses all three and can carry the heaviest fines and penalties. Drivers can become visually distracted while looking at their phones, cognitively while thinking about their conversations and manually while operating their phones. The penalties for texting while driving vary by state, but some states can carry fines of up to $10,000 and one year in jail.
If you have been ticketed for distracted driving or texting while driving, be sure to find out your state’s penalties and your options for fighting the ticket. Learn your rights and your legal defenses available before deciding how to handle a citation. Experienced traffic ticket defense attorneys can help you fight your case in court to reduce traffic fines, keep points off your license and insurance, and avoid a permanent criminal record.