Many people have become aware of the dangers of distracted driving through increased public service announcements and campaigns. Despite these efforts, several motorists continue to engage in activities that take their eyes off the road and risk causing possible accidents.
Minnesota has multiple state laws intended to prohibit certain forms of distracted driving. Anybody who is injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver should immediately retain legal counsel.
Were you seriously injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver in Minnesota? Contact JD Haas & Associates right away. Call (952) 345-1025 to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free consultation.
Minnesota Distracted Driving Laws
Minnesota Statute § 169.475 establishes that a person cannot operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless device to compose, read, or send an electronic message. This law applies when a motor vehicle is in motion or when it is stopped in traffic.
An “electronic message” is defined as a self-contained piece of digital communication designed or intended to be transmitted between physical devices and includes, but is not limited to, email, text messages, and commands or requests to access World Wide Web pages. The phrase electronic message does not include voice or other data transmitted as a result of making a phone call, or any data transmitted automatically by a device without direct initiation by a person.
The statute carves out exceptions when a wireless communications device is used:
- in a voice-activated or other hands-free modes
- for making a cellular phone call
- for emergency assistance
- if there’s a reasonable belief that an individual’s life or safety is in immediate danger
- in an authorized emergency vehicle performing official duties.
Minnesota Statute § 171.05 and Minnesota Statute § 171.055 prohibit instruction permit holders and provisional license holders, respectively, from operating a motor vehicle while using a cell phone while the vehicle is in motion. The law provides an exception for emergency situations.
Under Minnesota Statute § 169.443, school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone—handheld or hands-free—when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic. In some of these cases, a driver could be ticketed for the misdemeanor offense of reckless driving or careless driving.
A skilled personal injury lawyer can file a subpoena to seize the phone records of distracted drivers in these cases. When a negligent driver denies being distracted, such phone records can often prove that a message was being sent or some other phone action was taken when an accident occurred, often satisfying a general proving of a negligence claim.
Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Minnesota
If you were seriously in a car crash caused by a distracted driver in Minnesota, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. JD Haas & Associates helps individuals throughout the Bloomington area.
Our attorneys can provide an honest and complete evaluation of your case when you call (952) 345-1025 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.