Our means of communication have come a long way over the past few decades. Landlines are being replaced by cell phones, and whether it is through a phone call, an email or a text message the variety of ways we now have to communicate with one another is quite astounding. These days, sending a text message has become just another everyday activity performed by individuals many times a day across Minnesota. However, there is one instance in which it is just about never a good idea to send or receive a text message: while driving.
In fact, Minnesota Statutes section 169.475 addresses the use of a wireless communication device while driving. Per this statute, a person cannot drive while using a wireless communication device to write, send or read an electronic message. For the purposes of this statute, an electronic message includes text messages, emails, instant messages or a command to use the Internet. However, this list is not all-inclusive; there could be other types of electronic messages not listed.
There are some exceptions however. One exception is if the driver is solely using the wireless communication device in a hands-free or voice-activated mode. Another exception is for making a simple cell phone call. A third exception is if the driver is trying to contact emergency help or in some reasonable way believes his or her life is in imminent danger. A final exception is for those in authorized emergency vehicles who are using a wireless communication device during the course of their official duties.
You may think it only takes a moment to send a text message. However, taking your eyes off the road for any period of time could lead to a car accident that injures or kills another individual. Those who have been injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers who were texting and driving may want to discuss their situation with an attorney, to determine if they can take legal action against the responsible party.