What Are the Financial Consequences of Distracted Driving?
Ben Barry: I’m doing well, Joe.
Joey Vega: So Ben, I brought you back on this show because it’s distracted driving awareness month and I wanted to talk about some of the financial consequences of distracted driving.
Ben Barry: Yeah, sure, Joe. For one, there are financial consequences in terms of being issued a ticket from any reporting agency that arrives at the scene of an accident or property damage that you might cause if you’re kind of texting on your phone, you run off the road and hit a mailbox or far worse, hit a person or another vehicle. So, you’re going to suffer some financial consequences in terms of the vehicle and traffic infractions that you might receive. And the police, us, and state troopers will ask to look at your phone to see if you were distracted when you were driving.
Joey Vega: Right, is that like a standard thing now is you got into an accident, it was your fault. Let me see your phone?
Ben Barry: Generally, yes. That’s one of the first questions that the officers will ask after asking if everyone is all right.
Joey Vega: Interesting.
Ben Barry: So it’s very important to stay off of your cell phone or your handheld device. It’s very important to keep your eyes on the road and your attention focused on the task at hand, which is driving a motorized vehicle, and navigating the roadways safely. So, you will suffer vehicle and traffic infractions which come with very serious fines and penalties, points on your license. Those will accelerate with more tickets that you get. So the first ticket is going to be a couple of hundred bucks, probably four points on your license or so. And the second ticket is going to be much more serious.
Joey Vega: Let’s say you do some damage or God forbid, you actually hurt somebody. In addition to the guilt that I’m sure you’re going to feel, you’re obviously going to be obligated financially there as well. Correct?
Ben Barry: That is correct. You will be responsible. Generally speaking, most people have insurance policies that will cover that sort of damage. But nonetheless, you still stand at risk to be sued personally for damages if they happen to exceed the insurance policy. So it’s very important that, again, you remain paying attention on the road. And certainly, there are significant consequences if you do bodily injury and property damage to other people as a result of your distraction.
Joey Vega: All right. Well, there you go. Thanks a lot, Ben. Ben Barry from Martin, Harding, and Mazzotti.
Ben Barry: Thank you, Joe.
Joey Vega: You can contact Ben Barry and all of the other wonderful lawyers of Martin, Harding, and Mazzotti at 1-800-LAW-1010 and at 1800law1010.com. All right, Mel Allen is taking over from here. He’s got music from the Rolling Stones and Eddie Money next.