If you have driven on a freeway in Utah lately, you may have noticed some of the humorous messages reminding you to pay attention to the road. These messages even referenced the recent Star Wars movie release with statements like, “Texting and driving leads to the dark side.” Cell phones have become so normal in our society that we often forget that we place ourselves and others in danger when we text/talk and drive.
If you have been injured by a driver who was texting or distracted by talking on the phone in Utah, you may be wondering what your rights are. This post will explain cell phone laws in Utah, how these laws help you if you have been injured by a driver who was distracted by their cell phone, and how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you recover for your injuries.
Utah Texting and Driving Laws
Utah has extremely tough anti-texting laws. All Utah drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Utah statute defines a text message as “a communication in the form of electronic text or one or more electronic images sent by the actor from a telephone or computer to another person’s telephone or computer by addressing the communication to the person’s telephone number.” There are very limited exceptions to this rule, such as medical emergencies or reporting safety hazards. Under Utah law, someone caught texting while driving is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor, and can face up to $750 in fines and three months in jail.
If someone who was texting and driving caused an injury or death, they can face felony charges and a lengthy prison sentence. Utah also has harsh penalties for drivers who were distracted while talking on a hand-held cell phone. Although police cannot stop a driver simply for talking on a hand-held phone, the penalties for moving violations committed while talking on a hand-held phone are much stiffer than the penalties for the underlying moving violations.
If You Were Injured by a Texting Driver in Utah
If you were injured by a texting or distracted driver in Utah, you may be wondering what these driving statutes mean for your case. In order to be able to sue for your Utah car accident, you must first establish that the other driver was negligent. If the other driver has broken the law by, for example, texting while driving or talking on a hand-held cellular phone, it is much easier to show that he or she was negligent. If you have been injured in a car accident in Utah by a texting or distracted driver, contact one of our experienced car accident lawyers for a consultation. The experienced attorneys at Hepworth & Associates can be reached at 801-872-2222.