Distracted driving is a problem that does not appear to be going away. According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, in 2018, 854 distracted driving crashes occurred in South Dakota.

South Dakota had previously banned texting and emailing while driving, but a driver could not be stopped for these offenses. A law enforcement officer had to see drivers engaging in another violation to pull them over.

According to the Associated Press, the proposed bill would ban most types of mobile device use for South Dakota drivers. Drivers will still be able to use mobile devices for navigation, in hands-free mode, while making a phone call or for emergency situations. With the new bill, drivers engaged in distracted driving behavior will also be stopped for it, as it will be considered a primary offense.

Representative Doug Barthel, who sponsored the bill, believes more people will stop being distracted drivers if there is a law in place “with some teeth in it.” The State Affairs Committee voted 6-3 to move the bill forward.

If you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you may have significant injuries that require a prolonged hospital stay, missed time from work and rehabilitation. All these costs can add up quickly, and the insurance company may or may not offer you what you need to recover.

A vehicle accident should not leave you struggling to pay your bills. You can hold a negligent driver accountable for his or her behavior. A personal injury attorney can examine your case and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.