Victim of distracted driving advocates for tougher laws

Arkansas legislature considering raising penalties for distracted driving

A young Arkansas man who knows first-hand the dangers of distracted driving is advocating for tougher penalties for people who engage in the deadly practice, according to KTBS News. The man was left paralyzed following a car accident caused by a driver who was distracted by his cell phone. The Arkansas legislature is currently considering a bill that would increase fines for distracted driving and, for the worst offenders, could result in a license revocation.

Distracted by cell phone

The Arkansas man was a passenger in a truck while his friend was driving. According to the man, the driver was distracted by a cell phone and veered off the road. The accident left the young man, who was formerly a top swimmer, a quadriplegic. Meanwhile, the driver of the truck was fined $300 and sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

Now, the injured man says that drivers need to be faced with much tougher penalties in order to discourage them from distracted driving. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nine people are killed daily in the United States because of distracted driving, while another 1,000 people are injured.

Proposed legislation

A bill currently in committee is being considered by Arkansas lawmakers that would increase the penalties for distracted driving. The current fine for a first offense stands at $100; under the proposed legislation, a first offence would result in a $300 fine, a second offense in a $500 fine, and a third offense would lead to the driver's license being revoked.

Police in the state are well aware of the danger posed by distracted driving, which is why the Central Arkansas Traffic Enforcement Group announced a crackdown on distracted driving last month. The crackdown, according to Arkansas State Police, involved both marked and unmarked cars and led to at least 11 citations being issued, according to THV 11 News. Nonetheless, lawmakers debating tougher penalties for distracted driving say that police enforcement is one of the most difficult problems to resolve in relation to the offense.

Car accidents

Distracted driving, along with other forms of reckless and negligent driving, cause countless deaths and injuries on America's roads and highways every year. Sadly, the vast majority of these accidents are caused by drivers choosing to engage in behavior that puts other people's lives at risk.

Anybody who has been injured by a negligent driver should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The consequences of an accident can last a lifetime, including not only pain and suffering, but also medical bills and lost income. An experienced attorney can help victims learn what their options are and whether legal action can be taken to hold negligent drivers accountable.