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What Are Alaska’s Texting and Driving Laws?

What Are Alaska’s Texting and Driving Laws?

Distracted driving is a major problem across the country, leading to thousands of accidents every year, many of which cause severe or fatal injuries. While there are many forms of distracted driving, the use of a cell phone is usually regarded as the most dangerous distracting behavior drivers commonly engage in. While Alaska does not have a ban on cell phone for drivers, the state does ban all drivers from texting.

Texting and Driving is Illegal in Alaska

Texting and driving is a class A misdemeanor criminal offense in Alaska punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $10,000 in fines for a first offense. If a fatal accident occurs as a result of texting while driving, these penalties escalate to a class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

In 2008, the state passed “Alaska’s Text Messaging Ban,” which prohibits the unlawful installation of televisions, monitors, or other similar electronic devices in motor vehicles. This means that it is considered a crime if a person driving a motor vehicle has a television, video monitor, or any other means capable of providing a visual display that is in full view of the driver while the vehicle is in motion and the visual display is in use while that person is driving. As such, texting while driving is banned in Alaska.

The Exceptions

There are some exceptions to Alaska’s texting laws. This includes:

  • Navigating devices, such as a GPS
  • Cell phones or personal data assistants that are being used for verbal communication
  • Vehicle dispatching information and response information for vehicles providing emergency road service or assistance
  • Vehicle dispatching information for passenger transport, freight, or package delivery
  • Information for use in performing highway construction, maintenance, or repair by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities or a municipality

Additionally, there is no cell phone or texting ban for bus drivers in the state.

Alaska’s anti-texting laws are also primary laws, which means that if an officer sees you texting while driving, he or she can pull you over for the offense without having witnessed you engaging in any other violation. If you violate this law, it will be treated as a misdemeanor and, if it results in an accident and there is an injury or death, you could be charged with a felony.

Texting While Driving Statistics

According to the most recent statistics from the National Safety Council:

  • Texting and driving is responsible for 390,000 injuries annually in the United States.
  • It is estimated that one out of every four crashes is caused by texting and driving.
  • A person who is texting while driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than a drunk driver.
  • Teen drivers are 4 times as likely than adults to get into crashes or near-crashes while texting or talking on a cell phone.

Anchorage Personal Injury Attorney

If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident accident caused by a distracted driver who was texting, you have a right to pursue compensation and hold them accountable for their actions. At The Law Offices of David Henderson, we are committed to assisting injury victims recover the compensation they deserve.

Contact our office today at (888) 295-6566 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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