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April Fools' Day is behind us, and Tax Day is starting to fade from memory. But before April -- also known as Distracted Driving Month -- comes to a close, you should remind yourself of the distracted driving laws that exist in your and many other states.
To get you started here are some legal reminders about what to do (and not do) when you're behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Is a Broad Category
While you may have been harassed by some PSA on your radio or TV warning you never to text and drive, laws concerning distracted driving cover any activity that distracts a driver from the primary task of operating his or her vehicle. In other words, any of the following distracted-driver activities can put you in danger of injury or a ticket:
Though the laws vary from state to state on whether texting, calling, or generally using a mobile device while driving is illegal, you may still be stopped and cited for distracted driving if you are... distracted by using your smartphone.
Distracted Driving Can Be Seriously Dangerous
The name doesn't sound too dire, but distracted driving can be the cause of some fairly heinous injuries and even deaths. In addition, studies have found that newer and younger drivers are more likely to be distracted and cause more fatal accidents while driving. It wasn't that long ago that the NHTSA declared distracted driving deaths to be at "epidemic" level, so we aren't alone at stressing this issue.
Distracted Driving May Get You Sued
It's often ambiguous or confusing in a car crash who exactly was responsible for the injuries and damage incurred in a collision. However, if another driver can prove that your distracted driving caused the crash, it's much less likely that you'll prove you weren't responsible in court.
Avoiding distracted driving isn't that difficult -- here are 10 tips if you need that many -- and it could save your and other drivers' lives. Not to mention saving you time and money in court.
So remember these facts about distracted driving, and be safe on the roads this Distracted Driving Month!