Dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys Protecting Your Rights

Cell Phone Laws for Drivers in Louisiana: What You Need to Know

by | May 2, 2018 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you think you’re using your smartphone way too often, you’re not alone: TIME Magazine reports that collectively, people across the United States check their smartphones nearly 8 billion times each day. That aggregate number refers to all Americans and averages out to 46 times per day, per person, across all age groups.

An irresponsible texting driver is about to run over a pedestrian at an intersection which shows how dangerous texting and driving is. Stop the text and stop the wrecks.

But does your smartphone use extend to when you are driving? Because texting and talking on the phone can inhibit you cognitively, manually, and visually, it is one of the deadliest driver distractions, yet an alarming number of motorists use their smartphones behind the wheel despite the risk.

If you were injured by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, get in touch with a Shreveport car wreck attorney at The Downs Law Firm for legal advice. Ross Downs is a personal injury lawyer who has been practicing law for more than 20 years. Call 318-284-8551 to schedule a free consultation today.

What Does the Law Say About Using a Cell Phone While Driving in Louisiana?

A smartphone is a multi-purpose device that offers a variety of apps, each of which can inhibit your concentration. The Highway Safety Research Group, established by Louisiana State University, found that cell phones were involved in almost 2,500 crashes in 2017. Lawmakers in Louisiana recognized how dangerous using a cell phone while driving can be, so they imposed laws to deter drivers from doing so.

Using a hand-held cell phone while driving is not in itself illegal in Louisiana if you are over the age of 18 and hold a valid driver’s license. But for those under the age of 18 and anyone who holds a learner’s or intermediate license, regardless of their age, using a cell phone while behind the wheel is illegal. For bus drivers, using a cell phone while driving is a primary offense, which means they can be cited even if they did not commit another offense at the time.

Since 2011, it has been illegal to text while driving in Louisiana. This law was given extra impetus in 2016, when legislation came into effect to increase the penalties for this offense: whereas first-time offenders initially faced fines of $175, the fines have increased to $500. That goes up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses, and in addition to these penalties, offenders can also expect to have their license revoked for up to 60 days.

If you were hurt in a crash with a driver who was using his or her cell phone, a car wreck attorney at The Downs Law Firm can help you understand the legal complexities of your case and advise you on the next steps to take.

Personal injury lawyer Ross Downs is a member of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, as well as the Louisiana State and American Bar Associations. Call 318-284-8551 to arrange your free consultation today. Find out more about car accident claims in Louisiana by visiting the USAttorneys website.

The Downs Law Firm

517 North Washington Street

Bishop, LA 71220