Date:June 1, 2015
If you have been injured as a result of a driver’s negligence involving cellphone use, NH personal injury attorneys may be able to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Motorists driving through New Hampshire are being warned with electronic highway signs related to distracted driving. These signs are the first part of an important public awareness campaign devoted to a law banning all hand-held electronic device use while driving. Most of the law takes effect on the first of July, but there is a provision requiring the public to be educated about the law before then. One message that greets motorists reads “Hands Free, A Better Way to Be.”
The new law makes hand-held cellphone use punishable in three tiers. The first offense earns a fine of $100. The second offense earns a fine of $250. The third and subsequent offenses within a 24-month period earn a fine of $500 each. The law will apply even when drivers are stopped, such as at a traffic light, but not if they have pulled off a roadway. The law does allow hands-free cellphone operation, but the law prohibits drivers from using cellphones to text or email while the car is in motion. The law includes not just cellphones, but any device that requires data entry, including iPods, iPads and GPS systems. The law also bans all cellphone use by driving minors with the exception of making emergency calls.
The New Hampshire Driving Towards Zero Coalition backs up the law with statistics. In the past four years, there were 116 fatal crashes in New Hampshire caused by one or more distracted drivers. A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get in an accident. Even though it only takes a few seconds to send or receive a text, if a car is going 50 mph, those few seconds allow the car to travel farther than a football field.
If you have been injured as a result of a distracted driver’s negligence, contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 624-7200. Whether a cellphone was in use or not, if a driver harms you as a result of negligence, you could be eligible for compensation related to pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. NH personal injury attorneys may be able to help you receive that compensation.