Distracted driving is a major cause of serious auto accident injury. Like most states, Louisiana has enacted laws to prevent drivers from texting and other distracting actions behind the wheel. The Louisiana Highway Safety Office reports nearly 27,000 distracted driving injuries and 200 deaths from 2011 to 2015 alone.
Drivers should review and comply with these regulations to avoid dangerous motor vehicle collisions.
Distracted driving prohibitions
Drivers may not make posts, read or sign into social media apps while operating a vehicle. The law also prohibits reading, writing and sending text messages, instant messages and emails. While Louisiana allows phone calls, drivers may not talk on the phone during school hours in a school zone. These prohibitions do not apply to drivers reporting crime or emergency, navigating with a GPS system or officially acting as emergency first responders.
Laws for new drivers
Additional prohibitions apply to drivers younger than 18 and those who are learning to drive. These motorists may not make phone calls behind the wheel even outside a school zone unless they are reporting a crime or emergency. Drivers older than 18 who currently have a Louisiana learner’s license or intermediate license can use a hands-free device to make phone calls outside a school zone.
Drivers can receive $500 for an initial distracted driving violation. The second ticket carries up to $1,000 in fines and license suspension for 60 days. Fines double for a distracted driving accident involving bodily injury. More importantly, however, following these laws can reduce the risk of a debilitating auto accident injury.