As reported by NBC10 Boston in May, the ticketing rate for distracted driving in Massachusetts significantly increased in the first few months of 2021. The state Department of Transportation attributed the rise to the increase in road traffic and a renewed focus on enforcement.
Review the statistics from the DOT to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving in the state.
Looking at the numbers
The statewide number of distracted driving warnings and citations reached more than 10,000 in April 2021. In comparison, the first three months of the year had 151, 405, and 3,515 such incidents respectively, representing an exponential increase in the recognition of these behaviors by law enforcement.
Understanding the distracted driving laws
Massachusetts began prohibiting distracted driving in February 2020 and enforcing the law in April 2020. Drivers can perform a single swipe on the screen of their device to activate the hands-free mode. They can also use this mode for voice commands such as navigation.
Drivers who are younger than 18 may not use any device behind the wheel, even in hands-free mode. The penalties for this type of ticket range from $100 to $500 and may also include completion of a mandatory driver education course.
Those who suffer serious injuries in a crash caused by a distracted driver can seek legal compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with the accident. They may also be eligible for pain and suffering damages. However, injured individuals only have three years from the date of the collision to file this type of lawsuit.