While everyone who uses the road faces some level of danger, motorcyclists are particularly at risk of injury. Since they do not have the protection that cars and trucks provide to their occupants, motorcycle riders and passengers are likely to be seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.
Distracted driving is one issue that can endanger motorcyclists, since even when a driver is fully attentive, they may not see motorcycles on the road around them. The increased use of cell phones in recent years has been a factor in many accidents caused by distracted driving. Fortunately, some states have taken steps to address this, and this has had a measurable effect on the safety of motorcyclists.
Improved Safety From Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use
While many people may believe that they can operate a vehicle safely while using a cell phone to make calls or send texts, this type of distraction can be incredibly dangerous. Using a handheld device causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, and even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to a dangerous collision. Because of these dangers, some states have passed laws restricting the use of cell phones while driving. But have these laws actually improved safety on the roads?
A recent study looked at the data related to car accident fatalities in states which have passed laws banning or restricting the use of handheld devices while driving. Interestingly, the study found that these laws did not necessarily reduce the overall number of fatalities in traffic accidents, but they did have a significant effect on motorcycle fatalities. States that have passed moderate or strong restrictions on cell phone use have motorcycle fatality rates that are around 11 percent lower than in states without cell phone bans.
Wisconsin Laws Related to Distracted Driving
The state of Wisconsin prohibits drivers from engaging in any activities that interfere with their ability to safely operate their vehicle. While this may include a wide variety of distractions, the law specifically prohibits driving while composing or sending text messages or emails. However, drivers are allowed to use voice-operated or hands-free devices, and they may use their hands to activate or deactivate a device’s features. In addition, Wisconsin law prohibits any use of cell phones by young drivers with a probationary license or instruction permit, except to report an emergency.
Contact an Appleton Motorcycle Accident Attorney
While Wisconsin has laws in place that are meant to keep people from using cell phones while driving, many drivers choose to ignore these laws. When they do so, they put everyone on the road at risk, and motorcyclists are likely to be severely injured in collisions with these drivers. If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, the Green Bay personal injury lawyers at Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Contact us at 920-739-7366 to schedule a free consultation.