Montana & the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Despite fluctuating laws and the dedicated efforts of awareness groups, distracted driving continues to be a serious problem in Montana. Just recently, Rep. Fred Anderson presented House Bill 178 in an effort to ban minors from texting, sending, or reading written communications while operating a motor vehicle. The bill was defeated 64-36 over concerns that the law would encourage racial profiling. However, this one defeat isn’t going to stop state lawmakers from devising new strategies and regulations to safeguard the residents of Montana.

What Is Distracted Driving?

In Montana, distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accident injuries and fatalities. According to the Montana Department of Transportation, distracted drivers are responsible for over 3,000 traffic deaths and approximately 434,000 injuries a year.

A distracted driver lacks the ability to accurately notice, identify, and evade otherwise preventable collisions and road hazards. Many drivers who cause these accidents operate motor vehicle as if they are the exception to the rule. They aren’t “distracted driving,” they’re just quickly checking their phone or adjusting their radio. What these drivers don’t realize is that these are, in fact, distracted driving activities. The few seconds it takes to complete either action is just enough time to miss a slowing vehicle, jaywalking pedestrians, work zone warnings, or merging traffic.

Other distracted driving behaviors include:

  • Using a hands-free device
  • Daydreaming
  • Talking to passengers
  • Checking a GPS device
  • Fixing make-up
  • Eating or drinking in the car

Driving is a skill that requires 100% of your attention and concentration. When a driver is distracted, they may start weaving, speeding, and running red lights, even when facing poor weather conditions or dangerous road hazards. Not only do these drivers endanger themselves, they also put every other motor vehicle operator, bicyclist, and pedestrian in harm’s way.

Follow these steps to avoid being a distracted driver:

  1. Always stay focused on the road
  2. Make any seat or mirror adjustments before you turn on the vehicle
  3. Put away all electronic devices
  4. Pull over if you need to use your cell phone or fix your GPS
  5. Limit the level of activity in your car
  6. Avoiding eating while driving
  7. Choose your music selection/radio channel before driving
  8. Don’t drive when you’re tired
  9. Store loose possessions so they distract you by rolling around the car
  10. Use your passengers to help with navigation
  11. Secure any children or pets

Pursue Damages Today

A single moment of distraction can change your life forever. If you’re injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the Montana car accident lawyers at Odegaard Miller Law, PLLC. Our trial-tested team has over 70 years of legal experience and a comprehensive understanding of state and federal traffic laws. In the last three years, we’ve successfully recovered over $100 million on behalf of our clients.

Contact Odegaard Miller Law, PLLC at (406) 640-4441 to schedule a free consultation. Rely on our legal team to help you pursue the compensatory damages you deserve.

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