Maine Texting Tickets and Your Auto Insurance

If the risks of getting into a car accident aren’t enough to keep you off of your cell phone while driving, you might want to check your wallet.

According to FOX Business, insurance companies are going to soon start collecting from cell-phone using drivers.
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Our Bangor injury lawyers have recently blogged about the risks that are associated with texting behind the wheel. Studies have proven that a driver is 4 times more likely to get into an accident while talking on a hand-held phone and 23 times more likely to get into an accident when text messaging behind the wheel.

In the state of Maine, fully-licensed drivers are allowed to use hand-held cell phones while all drivers are prohibited from text messaging at the wheel. It’s these kinds of laws that make it tough for officials to differentiate between dialing a phone call and composing a text message.

Talking on a hand-held cell phone behind the wheel is illegal in 10 states. Talking on a phone by novice drivers is only banned in 32 states, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

To help law enforcement officers get a better grasp on viable enforcement measures, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put more than $500,000 into pilot programs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

At the same time, officials continue to ponder whether or not these cell phone and texting laws are even working. Officials with the IIHS recently studies 4 states that had these laws and actually found out that the number of distracted driving accidents increase in 3 of them. Some say that drivers are trying to keep their phones out of sight of officers now and it’s creating and even bigger problem. It seems like a lose-lose situation.

“While it is relatively easier for law enforcement to determine illegal handheld cell phone use by observing the position of the phone at the driver’s ear, the dangerous practice of texting while driving is often not as obvious,” said the Administrator for NHTSA, David Strickland.
Insurance companies are paying close attention to what you’re doing. They’re not exactly paying attention to you when it comes to dishing out cash for a claim, but they’re looking for every way possible to get more from you. They’re looking even closer at your traffic violations, the points you have on your driver’s license and they’re looking to collect from those who have been cited for a texting violation, even in states where such violations don’t result in points being added to your license.

Maine License Point System:

-2 Points: Tailgating another vehicle, improper turns, squealing tires, littering, illegal U-turn, failure to dim headlights, displaying a blue light, making excessive noise crossover violation, obstructing traffic flow and obstructing traffic lane convictions.

-4 Points:sRunning a red light, operating with an obstructed view, failure to keep right, neglecting to yield to a pedestrian, imprudent driving and imprudent speed.

Points on your license may also result in an increase in your car insurance premiums. And your driving record may become an issue in both criminal and civil court in the event of a serious or fatal accident.

-6 Points:sSpeeding, driving on the wrong side of the road, improper passing, operating beyond license restrictions and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

Contact Peter Thompson & Associates if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. Call 1-800-804-2004 for a free and confidential consultation to speak to a lawyer about your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Maine Injury Attorneys Know Accident Risks Come with Early Dark, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, October 30, 2012

Submersion Accident in Maine Highlights Injury Risks, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, October 10, 2012