Connecticut Distracted Driving Law

Apr 30th, 2024 | Car Accident

Distracted driving remains a prevalent and hazardous issue, leading to numerous accidents and injuries each year.  Connecticut has implemented strict regulations to curb this practice, targeted toward the use of mobile devices while operating a vehicle. However, distracted driving can involve much more than texting and driving, and the New Haven car accident lawyers remind it is important for everyone to remain aware of these risks.

Connecticut Cell Phone Use Laws

Under Connecticut law, all drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones or mobile electronic devices to make calls or send texts while driving. Drivers 18 years and older need hands-free accessories to use these devices. For drivers under the age of 18, the law is even stricter, disallowing the use of any mobile devices—including those that are hands-free.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-296aa. – Use of hand-held mobile telephones and mobile electronic devices by motor vehicle operators and school bus drivers prohibited or restricted.

(b) (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and subsections (c) and (d) of this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a highway, as defined in section 14-1, while using a hand-held mobile telephone to engage in a call or while using a mobile electronic device. An operator of a motor vehicle who types, sends or reads a text message with a hand-held mobile telephone or mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle shall be in violation of this section, except that if such operator is driving a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, such operator shall be charged with a violation of subsection (e) of this section.

Distracted Driving Is Much More Than Texting and Driving

Distracted driving encompasses more than just texting. It includes three primary types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distractions take the driver’s eyes off the road, manual distractions involve taking hands off the wheel, and cognitive distractions divert the mind’s focus from driving.

Activities like adjusting the GPS, eating, or even conversing with passengers can lead to these distractions, each contributing to potential driving errors and accidents. Although Connecticut’s laws do not address these risks, drivers who engage in these activities and subsequently cause a collision can be held liable for the harm that they inflicted.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

To keep everyone safe, you can take certain steps to limit distractions within your vehicle and maintain focus on the road:

  • Always set your GPS and make any necessary vehicle adjustments before you begin driving.
  • Pre-set your radio, music, or podcast playlists before you start driving.
  • Keep your phone out of reach while driving to avoid the temptation to use it.
  • Avoid eating, applying makeup, or other activities that can divert your attention.
  • If you must attend to an urgent call or text, pull over safely before using your phone.
  • Keep conversations with passengers light, avoiding intense or emotional topics that might distract you.
  • Organize your belongings so that nothing requires your attention or falls under the seats while you’re driving.

If you are involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you deserve justice. By filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against the motorist, you can secure compensation to help pay for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses. To initiate your claim, contact a  car accident attorney in New Haven and learn more about your legal options.