What You Need to Know About Utah Texting and Driving Laws

What You Need to Know About Utah Texting and Driving Laws

You know texting and driving is dangerous, but taking a peek every now and then on your phone isn’t that bad, right? It’s not like it’s against the law or anything. Actually, guess again. Before you even think about reaching for your phone while driving you should know about Utah’s texting and driving laws because they will affect you. Here’s what you need to know.

In Utah, texting while driving is illegal. You cannot write, send, or read a text message while driving a car. If you do, you’re breaking the law.

In fact, using a handheld device while operating a vehicle in Utah is also illegal. Besides text messages, you cannot legally write, send, or read an instant message or an email. You cannot dial a phone number, access the internet, view or record video, or put data into your cell phone (like dialing a number).

If you are doing any of these things while driving you are running the risk of getting pulled over and getting a ticket. Just how big of a ticket? A class C misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $100. If someone else is injured, that class C misdemeanor is bumped to a class B misdemeanor.

Under Utah’s laws there are a few ways you can legally use your cell phone while driving. For example, you are free to talk on the phone while driving, you just cannot dial your phone while driving. You can also use your phone for GPS services while driving, and you are allowed to use your cell phone during a medical emergency, when you’re reporting a crime, or reporting a safety hazard.

You can also legally use your cell phone if you have a hands-free device or a phone that can connect to your car’s audio system, for example.  

These laws, which went into effect in Utah in 2014, may seem strict. But the overall goal is to keep Utah drivers and those near roadways safe. Distracted driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or death in the blink of an eye. Driving distracted not only puts you at risk, but everyone around you. Don’t risk hurting someone, and don’t risk getting a class C or B misdemeanor.

Remember, not all states have the same texting and driving laws, or even the same laws when it comes to using cell phones and driving. If you’re going to be out of state and tempted to use your phone while driving, make sure to look check out the laws so you know the consequences.

If you’ve been involved in an accident because another driver was distracted, make sure you have someone to fight for you. Cockayne Law can get you the support you need following an accident and will work hard to make things right. With a free consultation, you can discuss your options with the Cockayne team so you know whether you have a case and what to do next. Call Cockayne Law today.

Top 5 Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Top 5 Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Auto accidents happen every single day for many number of reasons. Some are very minor, but others are much more serious and even deadly. In order to help avoid accidents, it’s important to understand how they happen. Here are the top five common causes of auto accidents. Study them, and learn how to avoid making these common mistakes.

#1. Distracted Driving
The number one culprit for auto accidents is distracted driving. If a driver isn’t focused they may not be aware of what’s going on around them. They may not notice break lights, which means they won’t be able to stop in time. But simply not focusing isn’t the only form of distracted driving. Cell phones are a major culprit of distracted driving, whether it is talking on a cell phone, texting, taking pictures, or using social media. In most places using a cell phone while driving is illegal because it is so dangerous. If you need to use the phone, pull over or be sure to use a hands-free device.

#2. Speeding
Speeding is another cause of many auto accidents. When you are going too fast, it makes it very hard to stop in time to avoid a collision. It can also make it hard to react properly to various situations; it may not seem like much but even an extra second of time to process a situation can make a huge difference in your well-being and the well-being of those around you on the road.

#3. Trying to Beat a Red Light
Auto accidents in intersections can be very serious, especially when cross traffic is involved. T-bone accidents are very dangerous and one easy way to avoid them is to obey traffic laws and slow down for a yellow light instead of speeding up. You never know what someone in the cross traffic is going to do, so play it safe and don’t try to beat red lights.

#4. Following Too Closely
Rear-end collisions are very common because they combine several of the most common auto accidents. Speeding, distracted driving, and underestimating your ability or the car ahead of you can all cause a rear-end collision. But one way to avoid them is to stay back; don’t follow too closely. By following this rule, you will be able to slow down in time to avoid a rear-end collision.

#5. Underestimating Ability
Underestimating one’s ability while driving can cause an accident in many different situations. One specific example is when it comes to “shooting a gap” or trying to get across a lane or several lanes of traffic and underestimating the speed of the cars approaching and your ability to get across. Like a game of Frogger, you may think you can totally shoot that gap. However, unlike the video game the consequences can be deadly.

If, unfortunately, you find yourself in an auto accident you may be looking for an accident attorney especially, if the accident was caused by someone else who was not careful enough to avoid these five common causes of auto accidents. The attorneys at Cockayne Law are ready to help get you the money you deserve while letting you get on with your life. No matter what type of accident you’ve been involved in, auto or other, contact Cockayne Law today.

Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

Reason Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Not Take Your Case

If you’ve been in an accident and have decided to hire a personal injury lawyer, you will probably feel some relief knowing help is just around the corner. But what if your attorney is less enthusiastic to jump head-first into your case? What if your personal injury lawyer will not take your case at all? You may feel confused and even a little upset. There are many factors for an attorney when it comes to accepting a case that are important to understand. Here’s a few reasons why you may find yourself in this situation.

  1. Financial Issues
    Your lawyer is there to help you, but their work is also their livelihood. One reason an attorney may not take your case is if there are financial issues that would prevent them from getting paid.  Typically, a defense attorney gets paid hourly and whether or not they win the case.
    But a personal injury lawyers takes on cases based on contingency fees. That means they only make money if they win the case. When they decide which cases to take, they decide which ones are worth their time and have the best prospect of winning – for your sake and theirs!
  2. Minor or Extreme Injuries
    If you’re not seriously hurt in an accident, there won’t be much money won in your case, perhaps there may be nothing to win! This again leaves a personal injury lawyer very little motivation to take on your case.
    Another reason an attorney may shy away from a case is if you have extreme injuries. Not just extreme injuries, but extreme hospital bills too. If there is an insurance issue and those hospital bills aren’t covered, when your case is won the hospital is paid first. This may leave the attorney with less of a paycheck than would make the case worthwhile for them.
  3. Fault
    If it is obvious that you were at fault, whether completely or partially, an attorney may not want to take your case. If you have been involved in many similar situations, your lawyer may not feel comfortable representing you because you may not seem credible.
    In the end, it comes down to whether or not an attorney has a good shot at winning your case by proving you were innocent and collecting the money to pay your damages. If you’re guilty, your lawyer won’t collect their paycheck and neither will you.
  4. Other Factors
    If you were involved in a car accident, a personal injury is probably the best person to handle your case. But if there are other issues to be dealt with, like worker’s comp., medical malpractice, etc., you may need to look for someone with experience in those areas. If your attorney doesn’t feel like they don’t have the expertise necessary to give you the best shot at winning, they may not take your case.

Before you get discouraged, make sure you talk to a few different attorneys to find the right one for you. Cockayne Laws specializes in many different types of accident cases. Make sure to get a free consultation with Cockayne Law before giving up your case!