How often do you drive while distracted?
What is the penalty if you are pulled over for texting while driving in Michigan?
Texting while driving is known as distracted driving, and teenagers are not the only ones who do it. Earlier this year, Bruce Jenner, the gold medal Olympian and Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ stepfather was involved in a fatal car accident. Many have questioned whether or not he was texting and driving.
According to an article by the Detroit News, after the accident, the authorities were likely to seek all the phone records of the drivers involved in the car crash. That included Bruce Jenner’s records.
The article goes on to report that Jenner had been traveling north when his black Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Lexus sedan. The Lexus sedan hit a black Toyota Prius and then veered into oncoming traffic and struck head-on with a black Hummer. The driver of the Lexus sedan was pronounced dead at the scene.
In this one case, maybe being following by paparazzi was a good thing. TMZ published photos of Bruce Jenner in his car right before the accident. The photos show Jenner smoking and not using his phone. If Jenner had been texting during the time of the accident, it could have resulted in vehicular manslaughter.
Distracted driving is not limited to just texting. According to the Michigan State Police it also includes,
- Using a cell phone
- Talking to passengers
- Watching a video
- Changing the radio
- Drinking and eating
- Using a navigation system
Distracted driving could go one of three ways,
- When you take your eyes of the road – Visual.
- When you take your hands off the wheel – Manual.
- When you take your mind off of what you are doing – Cognitive.
The Penalty for Distracted Driving in Michigan
If you are caught distracted driving the first offense is a $100 fine. After that, it is a $200 fine. In addition, distracted driving puts you at a great risk of a car accident.
Distracted Driving Teens vs. Adults
A month after Bruce Jenner was in his car accident, Kylie Jenner Bruce’s daughter was caught by Hollywood Life.com looking at her phone while in traffic.
Teenagers and adults are at risk for distracted driving. Who is at more risk may surprise you.
The Wayne State Study
A recent Wayne State study showed that older drivers were not better than their younger counterparts when it comes to driving and texting.
The study showed that 50% of participants had lane excursions or crossed into another lane while texting. What was so interesting about this study was the percentages of participates having lane excursions went up as their age went up.
Here are the percentages of participates by age group that had lane excursions while texting and driving.
- 18 – 24 years olds: 25%
- 25 – 34 year olds: 40%
- 35- 44 year olds: 80%
- 45- 59 year olds: 100%
According to the Michigan Vehicle Code Act 300 of 1949, there are exceptions for texting and driving. For more information, please see Michigan Texting While Driving Law.
Texting while driving in Michigan is considered distracted driving and has serious consequences. Although it appears that Bruce Jenner was not texting while driving when he slammed into a car that caused the fatal chain of events, the question remains if something else caused a distraction.
If you or someone you know is facing a distracted driving charge and would like to find out your options, please give my office a call.
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000