Distracted Driving Laws in Idaho: What You Need to Know
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving. In distracted driving cases, a reporting law enforcement officer determines that distraction was a leading or contributing factor in the crash.
On average, distracted driving accounts for nearly 5,000 crashes per year in Idaho, which amounts to nearly one-fifth of all causes of accidents annually. The dangers of distracted driving are inherent. However, many motorists ignore the risks and continue to engage in distracted driving while endangering the lives of others.
Examples of distracted driving include:
- Adjusting dashboard controls or GPS
- Drinking or eating while driving
- Grooming or self-attention
- Socializing with passengers
- Using a smartphone or similar device
Idaho Distracted Driving Laws
As of July 1st, 2020, the new Idaho Hands-Free driving laws went into effect, banning the general use of cell phones while driving. Insurance companies are also allowed to raise a driver’s coverage rates every time they are cited with a violation. There are some exceptions to the rule, such as the use of mobile devices for emergency purposes or using one-touch or voice-operated commands.
Penalties for distracted driving in Idaho may include:
- First violation: $75 fine
- Second violation: $150 fine
- Further violations: $300 fine
- 90-day suspension for three or more violations
Under the new law, a police officer may pull a driver over if they suspect that they are driving while using a cellphone or other device inappropriately.
What to Do If You Were Hit by a Distracted Driver
The first few steps you take after a distracted driving accident are crucial to your personal injury case. Take the following actions after an accident:
1. Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Your priority is to seek medical treatment. Even if you believe that you are not injured in the accident, you should visit your doctor or go to the ER for an exam. The longer you delay getting medical treatment, the more difficult it becomes to establish fault and liability.
2. Document Your Accident
If possible, try to document the accident. Take photos of the accident and your injuries. Gather contact information from eyewitnesses. Also, obtain a copy of the police report and all medical documents. Your attorney can use this information when building your case.
3. Limit Your Communication
You may be tempted to talk about your accident with friends or family or share it on social media. However, you may want to refrain from discussing your case with anyone. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to talk with the insurance company about the details of your accident early on.
4. Consult a Car Accident Lawyer in Boise, Idaho
Before you speak with anyone about your car accident, you should consult a car accident lawyer in Boise, Idaho. An attorney can listen to your case, discuss your legal options, and help you decide how to move forward with your accident claim. They can also help you avoid common mistakes that can hurt your case.
A lawyer can investigate the accident, obtain evidence of fault and liability, and engage with all parties on your behalf while you are recovering from your accident. With the right legal team in your corner, you have the legal leverage you need to take on the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer in Boise, Idaho
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you have the right to seek legal representation and pursue compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost pay, and other expenses. Call Shep Law Group today to discuss your case and submit your personal injury claim. Get a free case assessment from a car accident lawyer in Boise, Idaho. We also serve clients in Meridian, Ada County, Canyon County, and throughout the state of Idaho.