Utah Texting and Driving Accidents | Sandy Law Firm

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Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer

Texting while driving in Utah is both illegal and dangerous. Texting is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it requires mental, physical, and visual focus. Unfortunately, it is also the most common form of distracted driving. If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver was texting and driving, you shouldn’t have to pay for their mistakes. At Christensen & Hymas, our attorneys deal with distracted driving accidents daily and are ready to help you.

Not only are our attorneys highly experienced, but they will personally oversee every aspect of your case. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical and car expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering resulting from the accident.

Don’t Pay for Another’s Bad Decision to Text While Driving

Texting while driving in Utah is both illegal and dangerous. Because it requires mental, physical, and visual focus, texting is a highly dangerous form of distracted driving. Yet, it is common. Every hour, 36 collisions are caused by someone using their cellphone. Across the United States, texting and driving is the leading cause of death for teenagers.

If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver was texting and driving, you shouldn’t have to pay for their mistake. At Christensen & Hymas, our texting and driving accident attorneys advocate for victims of distracted driving accidents on a daily basis.

Not only are our attorneys for texting and driving claims highly experienced, but they personally oversee every aspect of your case. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical and car expenses, your lost wages, and pain and suffering as a result of the accident.

Don’t Let a Texting Accident Ruin Your Life

Texting while driving is against the law in Utah, as it is in most U.S. states. Despite this, accidents caused by texting are rampant across America – and the trend is rising. Learn what you can do to combat this trend and protect your family by learning from the experience of a past client and checking out our great resources below.

Holly’s Story

While waiting at a stoplight, Holly’s car was struck from behind by a teenage driver. The young man was texting. He never hit the brakes, but he did hit ‘send.’ A split second is all the time it took.

The pain and force of the accident knocked Holly unconscious. Holly sustained multiple injuries, including whiplash, a lumbar strain, headaches, and bruising across her head and face. Holly soon became overwhelmed with medical bills and calls from the insurance company. 

Finally, three weeks following her accident, Holly made a choice to hire the texting compensation attorneys at Christensen & Hymas to handle her case. From there, our experienced texting accident lawyers handled all of the hassles of police reports and insurance claims so Holly could focus on healing. 

Holly suffered extensively for things out of her control—but she never had to stand alone. We were there for Holly through her rehabilitation and recovery, providing service with integrity and compassion. Holly received the substantial settlement that she needed and deserved.

Texting and Driving: The Impact by the Numbers

In a recent survey, the CDC found that over 39% of teenage drivers admit to texting while driving. There’s no doubt about it. The use of cell phones on the road is quickly becoming a nationwide practice. But it’s deadly. Every day, eight people die as a result of distracted driving. In fact, nearly one in every four accidents in the United States involves the use of cell phones.

What Can the Christensen & Hymas Texting and Driving Attorneys Do For My Accident Case?

If you’re hurt by a texting driver, our team of texting and driving attorneys can advocate for your legal rights. You need financial help, and you deserve fair compensation for your damages and pain and suffering. Plus, the texting driver should be held accountable for their actions.

At Christensen & Hymas, we have an experienced legal team that can help you achieve your goals. We’re experienced in the law and pursuing legal claims. Our team offers you the professional service both to advance your claim and provide you with the caring and compassionate help you need as you focus on your recovery. We’re a full-service law firm that helps you with every aspect of your case to respond in the best way possible after a texting and driving accident.

Why Do You Need an Injury Lawyer for Texting and Driving? 

After a texting and driving accident, you’re suffering from physical injuries. There are police reports to make and insurance companies that are calling. You need to advocate for your legal rights, but you must work quickly. 

That’s why you need an injury lawyer for texting and driving. An attorney ensures that your legal claim is handled quickly and in the best possible way. With our experience and commitment to justice, you can rest assured that you’re taking the right steps to respond correctly at every turn. When you need legal experts and a helpful team working for you, our professionals are there to be by your side from start to finish.

Utah Texting and Driving Laws

Utah’s texting and driving law is found in Utah code section 41-6a-1716. The law creates harsh consequences for drivers who text and drive. Utah law does not allow drivers to use handheld devices, including tablets, iPads, Kindles, and cell phones. When someone chooses to text, they are willfully neglecting their responsibility as a driver, and they are compromising their safety and those around them.

Utah Prohibits Use of Handheld Devices Like Phones

Utah law does NOT allow any motorist to use a handheld wireless communication device or cell phone while driving. These include:

  • Sending or reading email
  • Texting
  • Sending data, emojis, memes, and the like
  • Viewing MMS or images
  • Using apps

Gadgets categorized as wireless communication devices include:

  • Wireless telephone
  • Personal digital assistant
  • Pager
  • Text messaging device
  • iPad/Tablets

Exceptions to Utah Cell Phone Driving Laws

There are some exceptions to Utah’s cell phone driving prohibition. These include:

  • To make or receive a call
  • Using GPS
  • During a medical emergency
  • To report a safety hazard and request police assistance
  • Providing roadside or medical help
  • Reporting criminal activity
  • Calling for police help
  • A hands-free technology or system that is physically integrated into a motor vehicle

Persons Exempt from Utah’s Cell Phone Driving Laws

Law enforcement and medical emergency personnel are exempt from Utah’s cell phone driving laws as long as their use is in line with the nature of their work.

What Are the Penalties and Fines if Someone is Caught Violating the Texting and Driving Law?

A person convicted of a violation of Utah’s texting and driving laws is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor if the use of a handheld device results in serious bodily injury to another and if the offender has a previous conviction within the last three years.

What Are the Texting and Driving Laws for Teenagers in Utah?

Utah law prohibits drivers younger than age 18 from using cell phones while driving. A violation is a $25 citation. However, the citation doesn’t go on the teen’s permanent driving record. Teen drivers can still call in a medical problem or a road hazard, as well as report a crime. They can also call their parents or guardians.

How Can I Prove that Someone Was Texting Before an Accident?

To prove that someone is texting before an accident, authorities can check the phone data to verify. Bystanders or witnesses to the accidents can also be interviewed. Accident reconstruction may be helpful to point to a driver’s level of distraction leading up to the crash. Finally, you can use the case-building process, including testimony under oath, to pressure the driver to admit what really happened. An experienced attorney for texting car accidents can help you take all of these steps effectively and build the evidence in your favor.

Texting and Driving Statistics

Here are some statistics that highlight the dangers of texting and driving:

  • A study found that 49 percent of boys ages 15-18 admitted to texting while driving compared with 45 percent of girls. Older teens are more likely to text – Only 24 percent of 15-year-olds tap out messages while driving, compared with 58 percent of 18-year-olds, the data showed. 
  • One-third of adults ages 30-64 admit to using a cell phone while driving.
  • In 2018, 2,841 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. An additional 400,000 people were injured.
  • Nearly one in five crashes (18%) in which someone is injured involves distracted driving.
  • Americans send more than 200 billion text messages each year.
  • Students who text while driving are nearly twice as likely to ride with a driver who has been drinking and five times as likely to drink and drive than students who don’t text while driving.
  • According to a study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center, more teens die from texting while driving than die from drinking and driving.
  • Texting while driving laws vary by state and from country to country. According to CNN, in several countries, texting behind the wheel is punishable by jail.

According to GuardChild’s Distracted Driving Statistics:

  • Texting while driving is more dangerous than talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone.
  • A driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-distracted driver.

Texting and Driving FAQs

Is texting and driving considered distracted driving?

Yes, texting and driving is considered distracted driving. Distracted driving is defined as driving with divided attention. Driving is a very challenging task that requires total concentration. When a driver uses a cell phone to text while driving, they are taking their eyes off the road.

What is the definition of “text messaging” under Utah law?

Text messaging is defined in Utah law as “a communication in the form of electronic text or one or more electronic images sent by the actor from a telephone or computer to another person’s telephone or computer by addressing the communication to the person’s telephone number.” There are many different types of devices that may be used to text under the Utah prohibition.

Are there exemptions to texting and driving laws?

Yes, there are exemptions to the texting and driving laws. A person who is texting due to a medical emergency may be exempt from this law. Law enforcement and first responders are also exempt from cell phone use laws in the scope and course of their employment.

Why is texting and driving risky?

Drivers have to make life-saving decisions in a split second. Texting and driving is risky because it takes the driver’s attention off the road. Texting drivers take their eyes off the roadway for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this equates to a driver traveling 371 feet, or the approximate length of a football field (including the end zones)—without looking at the roadway!

What are the penalties and fines for commercial drivers caught texting and driving?

For commercial drivers, getting caught texting while driving can result in license disqualification. Penalties can be up to $2,750 for drivers and up to $11,000 for employers who allow or require drivers to use a handheld communications device for texting while driving.

What age group has the greatest tendency for fatal crashes due to texting and driving?

Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. 21% of fatal car crashes involving teenagers are texting and driving-related.

Are teenagers the only age group prone to commit texting and driving?

No, teenagers aren’t the only age group guilty of texting and driving. In fact, 56% of adult drivers admit to texting while driving. People of all ages are using a variety of handheld devices, such as cell phones, mp3 players, personal digital assistants, and navigation devices when they are behind the wheel.

Is it safe to use hands-free (headset, speakerphone, or other devices) cell phones while driving?

No, it is not safe to use a hands-free device while driving. Hands-free devices still divert the driver’s attention from the road. The person or even the intelligence system on the other end cannot interact appropriately with the driver. Handheld devices may be slightly worse, but hands-free devices are not risk-free. It makes the driver miss visual cues vital in the avoidance or prevention of a car crash.

What are the penalties for a driver involved in an accident and found out to be texting and driving prior to the accident?

Under Utah law, someone caught texting and driving faces up to three months in jail and up to a $750 fine. The offense is a misdemeanor. If the driver causes injury or death, the punishment can grow to a felony and up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in prison.

Texting law in Utah is a primary law. What does primary law mean?

Utah’s texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting while driving, pulls you over, and issues you a citation.

What type of violation is texting and driving?

Penalties for a texting and driving violation are a Class C misdemeanor with fines and potential jail time. The violation is a Class B misdemeanor if the texting causes an accident or if the driver has a prior conviction. 

Attorneys for Help with a Texting and Driving Accident

Have you been in a texting and driving accident? We can help. Don’t leave it to chance. Work with experienced attorneys who have a track record of getting results for accident victims. If you have been in an accident due to a cell phone user’s negligence and would like a free consultation, feel free to contact us at Christensen & Hymas. See how we can work on your behalf from start to finish to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.