While the results of an auto accident caused by texting and driving can emotionally affect the individuals involved, the aftermath of a texting and driving auto accident can also have dramatic financial consequences.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted driving costs the United States $175 billion a year. That’s an average of $148 per United States citizen. Additionally, the National Safety Council calculates that $43 billion of that amount comes from costs of crashes caused by cell phone use alone.
Traffic fines for texting and driving vary from state to state. Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and South Carolina are the only four states in the U.S. that don’t have bans or penalties for texting and driving. Alaska has the largest penalty for those who text and drive, coming in at $10,000 and a year in prison for first time offenders. California has the smallest fine at $20 per offense.
Drivers in Provo, Utah and throughout the rest of the Beehive state can expect to pay a $750 fine and serve up to three months in jail on a misdemeanor charge for texting and driving. If these same Provo drivers cause an auto accident while texting and driving that results in injury or death, they could be looking at a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison serving a felony charge.
If your auto accident calls for a trip to court, you’ll find yourself in need of a good lawyer. A Provo driver facing a felony charge could expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 for an experienced lawyer. Additional trial fees of anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars could be added to that total depending on the lawyer.
If you live in a state where texting and driving is considered a moving violation, your lapse of judgment could be the cause of points added to your driving record. These points add up to the possibility of a suspended license and a higher insurance premium.