Texting driver strikes pedestrian in Minnesota
Distracted driving accidents continue to pose a problem for Minnesotans. Not only are the roads dangerous when drivers choose to text while operating their vehicles, but the sidewalks and crosswalks are no longer safe.
A recent distracted driving crash highlighted these dangers in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The accident involved a 57 year-old woman attempting to cross the street in a marked crosswalk. While the woman attempted to cross she was struck by a 24 year-old driver in an SUV. Witnesses told The Star Tribune that the driver made no attempt to stop prior to striking the pedestrian. The driver stated she was unable to see the pedestrian due to a blind spot caused by her windshield pillar. The driver also denied texting while driving. Police investigation unveiled that a text was sent from the driver’s phone just seconds before the accident. After confronted with this fact, the driver admitted to texting but claimed to only text while at the stop light.
The pedestrian suffered serious injuries from the crash, including multiple pelvic fractures. The driver is charged with felony criminal vehicular operation.
Minnesota law and distracted driving
It is illegal in Minnesota to write, read or send a text message while driving or while a vehicle is part of traffic. As a result, it is illegal to send or receive texts while stopped at a traffic light. This would mean the driver in the above accident was breaking the law even if she was only texting while at the traffic light.
Minnesota also outlaws use of a cellphone for any driver under the age of 18, unless in an emergency and only when dialing 911. Anyone who violates these laws could be ticketed for reckless or careless driving.
If the use of a cellphone leads to an accident, the driver can be charged with criminal vehicular homicide or operation depending on the injuries suffered by victims. Penalties associated with vehicular homicide can include up to ten years imprisonment and a monetary fine of up to $20,000. Those who cause bodily harm can be sentenced up to five years imprisonment and face a $10,000 fine.
Remedies available for victims of distracted driving accidents in Minnesota
Victims injured in distracted driving accidents may be eligible to receive compensation. This compensation can help cover the cost of hospital bills and other expenses connected to the injury. Contact an experienced Minnesota distracted driving lawyer to discuss your case and better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.