Texting While Driving Accidents
The Massachusetts Safe Driving Act of 2010 is clear: motor vehicle drivers in Massachusetts may not text while operating a motor vehicle and drivers under 18 are forbidden from using a cell phone for any reason.
There is no question that texting, using cell phones and other distractions adversely affect drivers’ ability to focus on the road. Studies show that more than 10% of drivers are using cell phones while driving; 20% of all collisions are as a result of “distracted” drivers; and, that at least 16% of motor vehicle fatalities are as a result of cell phone use. In a study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving motor vehicles and truck driver texting is both increasing, and increasingly dangerous. While cell phone use may be a distraction, texting while driving in Massachusetts and other smart phone use while driving are more severe distractions. Clients often tell us this was occurring before their vehicle was impacted, but how do we prove it? Perpetrators don’t fess up too often!
PROVING DISTRACTED DRIVING IN MASSACHUSETTS
One way is to simply allege it and use other, more easily provable, facts to show that the other driver was responsible: in a rear end collision in Massachusetts we don’t have to show an insurance company the driver was texting, for example. Often the police find an open phone. Sometimes drivers admit they were using their cell phones or other distractions.
Another way is to subpoena cell phone records. We have been successful in obtaining cell phone records of defendants in civil accident cases in Massachusetts. If we can show a cell phone call during the time of the collision, we have good evidence of cell phone use. This helps, but does not prove, negligence.
We often use testimony of the negligent driver a deposition to see what he or she says. The inquiry must be extensive as the simple use of a cell phone does not prove negligence. What if the driver was using a Bluetooth technology cellphone? What if the driver admits to cell phone use but was driving safely? An extensive interrogation often gives us sufficient information to show either negligence or contradictions in testimony. Then we get the testimony of other witnesses. Passengers in both vehicles may have seen the driver looking down for a period of time. Often, police officers investigate and determine what happened based on what evidence they come upon. In serious collisions, they may confiscate the phone as evidence.
Getting a Free Consultation For A Texting While Driving Accident in Massachusetts
If you have been injured as a result of a distracted driver collision in Boston or throughout Massachusetts, call experienced Massachusetts trial attorney Neil Burns. Since 198,5 I have represented victims of motor vehicle accidents. Of course, cell phone use and texting are modern incarnations of other forms of distracted driving. Nevertheless, we fight aggressively for our clients to prove liability and damages. We take no fee until we win. Call 617-227-7423 for a free consultation.