In Alabama, you are wise to put any open liquor container in your trunk. Soon, you may want to put your cell phone in there too.
Have you pushed a button or touched your phone while driving? You know, changed a music selection, updated driving conditions, or grabbed the phone to see who was calling? That may soon be a crime.
A proposed law that makes it illegal to touch your phone while driving is now out of committee in the Alabama House and headed for a vote. No one on the committee opposed it.
Helping to curb distracted driving is the goal, and I applaud the effort. I deal with the victims of traffic accidents every day, and distracted driving is a serious problem – especially for younger drivers. We already have a law that makes texting and driving illegal.
But our state also has an odd law about who must pay in a traffic accident. Our law says that if you are even 1% responsible for an accident, you cannot collect from the other guy … even if the other guy is clearly wrong.
If this new bill passes, you may want to consider locking your phone in the trunk. It may be the only proof that you did not touch it. I believe every insurance company is going to use this new law to try and show that you, at some time, broke the law and touched your phone. So, since you broke the law, you are probably at least 1% at fault.
Ironically under the proposed law, it is not illegal to talk to your phone … you just can’t touch it.
By the way, Georgia already has a similar law. But its collection law only reduces your injury money by the percentage of your fault.
If you are hurt in a traffic accident or suffer any other personal injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie (251) 666-1212 for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Also, join us for NBC 15 LawCall, our legal call-in TV show, here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live.
Alabama personal injury lawyer