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Safer Roads: Texting and Driving Laws in Louisiana
Texting and driving accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and it is the cause for 64 percent (more than half) of road accidents that happen in the U.S. Our state government has been actively passing texting and driving laws in Louisiana and increasing fines to make local roads safer. Distracted driving laws aim to prevent texting and driving accidents in Louisiana with the following legal restrictions, exceptions, and fines in place:
All Louisiana drivers of any age are banned from any activity involving a cell phone while operating a vehicle. This includes:
- Writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication, including instant messages, email, and normal text messages.
- Opening, reading, or posting to social media, or
- Making a call while traveling in a school zone and within posted school hours.
Exceptions to Louisiana texting and driving laws include the following events:
- Reporting an emergency, such as traffic hazards or accidents.
- Seeking help if your personal safety is at risk.
- Reporting or preventing a criminal act against someone, including yourself.
- Using your cell phone while you are legally parked.
- Using your cell phone as necessary to complete job tasks while operating an emergency vehicle.
Consequences of distracted driving in Louisiana include:
- $500 in fines for the first violation.
- 60-day license suspension and up to $1,000 in fines for the second or subsequent violation.
- Doubled fines if the violation caused a collision.
- At least 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. 1.6 million road accidents involve distraction by a cell phone.
- 1 out of 4 car accidents in the U.S. is caused by texting and driving.
- Each year, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries.
- About 421,000 people are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver every year.
- A crash caused for any reason becomes 23 times more likely to occur when a driver is texting. Even if the crash is another driver’s fault, the crash is more likely to be avoided if the oncoming driver is looking at the road instead of the phone.
- A survey found 77 percent of adults and 55 percent of teenage drivers state they can easily manage texting while driving.
- 10 percent of adults and 20 percent of teenagers have admitted to participating in entire conversations over text messages while driving.
- 11 teenagers die every day in texting and driving accidents.
- As teens text and drive, they veer out of their lane 10 percent of their total drive time.
- The University of Utah conducted a study that found the reaction time for a teen using his or her cell phone is the same reaction time as a 70-year-old who isn’t using a cell phone.