Compensation for Victims of a Distracted Driver
The New Hampshire car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman see it all the time. A driver is making their way down the road, carefully, responsibly, and obeying all the Rules of the Road. Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, another vehicle causes a collision.
If you have been the victim of a car crash, you rightly want to know how that other driver didn’t see you. How did they not see the red light or the stop sign? What could they possibly have been doing that they drove so carelessly, endangering your life and the lives of other drivers, and pedestrians as well? Who would drive like that? Why would they drive like that?
Distracted Driving on the Rise
We live in an age of ever-increasing distraction. We see people walking down the street all the time with their head down looking at their smartphone. Checking email and texts. Dialing a phone number. Doing all kinds of things except the most important thing; paying attention to what they are doing!
Now take the scenario above and place the person as the driver of a car. Talking. Checking email. Texting. Making a music selection. Again, doing all kinds of things except the most important thing; paying attention that what they are doing!
Study after study has shown that, despite knowing how dangerous it is to engage in distracted driving, people do it anyway. Teenagers acting like teenagers – while operating a several thousand pound piece of machinery at high rates of speed! Workers stressed out about running late for an appointment. And yes, parents, who despite knowing that they are endangering the lives of their children, do it anyway.
New Hampshire’s Distracted Driving Law
In response to the overwhelming evidence that distracted driving was on the rise, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a law in 2015 banning the use of any hand-held electronic devices while driving. The law took effect after a lengthy public education campaign. It warned New Hampshire drivers about the dangers of, and penalties for, driving while distracted.
The ban includes the use of hand-held devices even when drivers are stopped at a red light. This means that if you have stopped for any reason without pulling off the roadway, you may not use a hand-held device. Restricted devices include cell phones used for emailing, calling, and texting, as well as GPS systems. Hands-free cellphone operation is permitted. These regulations are stricter than the prior law that only restricted texting while driving. Additionally, all similarly distracting activities are prohibited. The law also bans all minor drivers from any cell phone usage while operating a vehicle, even if they are using hands-free technology. Emergency calls are still allowed.
Penalties for Violations
The first offense results in a fine of $100 for those found to be in violation of the law. The second offense results in a $250 fine, and the third offense within two years results in a $500 fine. Additional penalties may be assessed in addition to the monetary fines.
Contact our New Hampshire Car Crash Attorneys
If you have been injured by a distracted driver and would like more information on filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact the New Hampshire car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman. We may be reached at 603-624-7200 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. Stricter distracted driving laws may enable victims of negligent drivers to receive compensation for their injuries. This includes medical expenses and compensation for lost wages.