Alabama has joined the ranks of several other states in banning drivers from texting while behind the wheel of their vehicle.
The law, which was signed by Gov. Robert Bentley in May, carries fines and penalties for Alabama drivers who fail to comply.
According to Public Safety Department Director Col. Hugh McCall, sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. If a car is traveling at a speed of 55 mph, it will drive the length of a football field in the time it took to read the average text message.
Similar to other driving offenses, penalties for breaking the new texting while driving law will increase with each occurrence.
The first offense carries a fine of $25 and increases by an additional $25 for each subsequent offense. Additionally, each infraction will also put a two-point violation on the motorist’s driving record, which could increase the driver’s insurance costs.
The new law does not prohibit dialing a phone, but does restrict sending and receiving text messages, instant messages and e-mails while behind the wheel, including when the driver is stopped at a red light.
It is important for drivers in Mobile and Baldwin Counties to be aware of the new law and the dangers of texting and driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that you believe was caused by a driver who was texting while operating their vehicle, you may be able to recover compensation for losses incurred from the accident.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to distracted driver accident victims, complete the Free Case Review form on this page.