Texting or Sending an Email While Driving Is Illegal in Wisconsin

Even though everyone knows better, texting while driving in Wisconsin is on the rise. The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that mobile device use is a factor in one in four motor vehicle crashes nationwide. The AAA Foundation conducted a study about the relationship between cell phone use and crash risk and concluded that cell phone use can increase crash likelihood by up to eight times the rate when no cell phone is used. While 88% of survey participants believed texting or emailing while driving is a serious threat to personal safety, 33% of them admitted to talking or otherwise using a cell phone while driving.

If you have been injured in Wisconsin by a driver who was texting or using their phone, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. The Milwaukee car accident lawyers at Mingo & Yankala is here to assist you in obtaining maximum compensation if you have been injured by someone using their cell phone while driving. Contact Mingo & Yankala, S.C. for your free case review.

Dangers of Texting or Emailing While Driving

Driving is a complex task that involves fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and cognitive ability to respond quickly to perceived dangers. When a person is distracted by texting or emailing, they limit the amount of time they have to respond to a danger. Texting behind the wheel is no different than closing your eyes and driving blind. For example, at 60 m.p.h., the average person sending or reading a text has traveled the length of a football field without ever looking at the road.

Distractions may fall within one or more of the following categories:

  • Visual distraction – A visual distraction takes your eyes off the roadway, such as looking at passengers or out the window.
  • Manual distraction – A manual distraction takes your hands off the steering wheel, such as eating or drinking.
  • Mental distraction – A mental distraction takes your mind off the task of driving, such as daydreaming.

Texting or emailing while driving involves all three of these distractions, which exponentially increases the likelihood that you will be involved in a motor vehicle crash.

Laws About Distracted Driving in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law makes it illegal for anyone to drive a motor vehicle in the state while engaged or occupied with any other activity other than driving that “interferes or reasonably appears to interfere with the person’s ability to drive the vehicle safely.” Specifically, the law prohibits anyone from driving while “composing or sending an electronic text message or an electronic mail message.” Additionally, any driver who has a probationary license or instruction permit is not allowed to use a hand-held or hands-free device while driving.

Violating this law can result in the following consequences:

  • Issuance of a ticket for inattentive driving
  • A fine and four demerit points for regularly licensed drivers
  • Eight demerit points if the driver has an instruction permit or probationary license and a prior moving violation
  • Extension of Graduated Driver License restrictions of six more months if the driver has a probationary license, are under Graduated Driver License restrictions, and have a prior moving conviction
  • Delay of six months from the date of violation to be eligible for a probationary license if the driver has an instruction permit

Contact Mingo & Yankala, S.C. for Help with Your Claim Today

If you were injured in an accident in Wisconsin you suspect was caused by distracted driving, the award-winning personal injury firm of Mingo & Yankala, S.C. is here to help. Contact us today for a free case review.