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MI State Law - Michigan: The 23rd State on the Texting Prohibition Bandwagon

For many months, numerous highway safety advocates, as well as concerned citizens and legislators have publicly discussed the dangers of driving while distracted by cellular phones. Although the technologically advanced accessories can text message, e-mail, play music, or give directions, using these devices while driving distracts the motorist from the road, greatly increasing the chances of a car accident occurring. An experienced Detroit personal injury lawyer will almost certainly represent several victims who have sustained significant personal injury or death in crashes with similar circumstances. In response, many states across the nation have signed into law bans on cell phone use while driving, and the State of Michigan followed suit last week, becoming the 23rd state to implement a texting prohibition.

Last Wednesday, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation, geared at eliminating Michigan car accidents caused by distracted driving. Beginning July 1, motorists can be pulled over and fined by law enforcement officials if seen reading or writing a text message while behind the wheel. Although a similar bill was passed earlier this year by the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate making such a violation a secondary offense, the new law makes texting and driving a primary offense. This means that police officers can pull a driver over for driving while distracted by a cell phone, and nothing else. Those caught will be subjected to a $100 fine for the first violation, while the penalty increases for every subsequent offense.

Reports from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration state distracted driving car accidents have affected thousands of Americans. Records show that in 2008, 6,000 people were killed, while 500,000 people sustained significant personal injury in auto crashes involving a motorist that was texting while driving–comprising 20 percent of the total collisions documented. Many states across the country have taken notice to these alarming statistics, as 22 states and the District of Columbia have all enacted texting while driving bans.

Safety advocates and legislators maintain that the ban will make roads safer for all, drivers and passengers alike. According to Representative Lee Gonzales, D-Flint, the changes will transform the typical habits of Michigan motorists. “This is going to make our roads safer. It’s going to result in better driving habits, and reduce the number of accidents,” he stated. Law enforcement officials are in agreement, attesting to the necessity of giving the road full attention. “If you’re paying attention to texting you can’t be paying attention to driving,” explained East Lansing Police Lt. Kevin Daley. He continued, “Anything that makes it less distracting inside the compartment of a vehicle is a good thing.”

Although it is unknown the exact affects that the new legislation will have on Michigan car accidents, but it is expected to decrease significantly the chances of serious crashes occurring. It is important that such a strict stance was taken on the issue, as distracted driving car collisions can have life-changing consequences, including serious personal injury and death. For a victim and their family, many questions will undoubtedly linger long after the accident is over. For answers, as well as the best legal advice, it is essential to contact a hard-working and dedicated Detroit car accident lawyer immediately. Acting quickly can help ensure that you not only receive the highest quality representation possible, as well as the compensation your deserve for your personal injury claim.