Arkansas’s Urgent Call to Avoid Distracted Driving

Arkansas’s Urgent Call to Avoid Distracted Driving

While the festive season is a time for celebration, it also sees a surge in travel, making road safety more crucial than ever. In fact, Arkansas is the ninth most dangerous state to drive in during the holidays. 

If you don’t already know, Arkansas enacted Act 445, known as Ashton’s and Abbie’s Law, in August 2023. It serves as a timely reminder to prioritize safe driving practices.

Texting While Driving Statistics

What Is Act 445?

Let’s be honest: Succumbing to the distractions while behind the wheel is easy. Whether it’s responding to messages, checking holiday plans, or capturing a beautifully lit home, the dangers of texting and driving won’t ever be overstated. 

Act 445 is part of a handful of other transportation laws Arkansas put into legislation in 2023. It was named for two victims — Ashton and Abbie — who died from distracted driving accidents.

Designed to curb the rising tide of distracted driving incidents, Act 445 requires law enforcement to document whether a driver involved in an accident was using a mobile device

Penalties for Violating Act 445

The enforcement of Ashton’s and Abbie’s Law introduces a new layer of responsibility for drivers. Law enforcement faces the challenge of identifying and proving instances of mobile device use during accidents. 

If a driver, distracted by their phone, causes an accident leading to serious injury or death, Act 445 classifies it as a Class A misdemeanor upon conviction. It is also punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. 

In the spirit of the holidays, Act 445 introduces a meaningful penalty for distracted driving: community service. Offenders may be required to contribute up to 100 hours of service — which only emphasizes the importance of fostering a safer driving environment for all during this festive season. 

Have You Been in an Accident Because of Distracted Driving?

As we head out for our holiday trips, it’s important to understand Act 445 and how it can make roads safer. By following the law and getting others to do the same, we’re helping to make the roads safer for everyone.

If you’ve found yourself in a car accident because of distracted driving, whether it’s on your end or someone else’s, don’t hesitate to reach out to Hickey & Hull Law Partners. 

Whether you’re dealing with accusations or charges, our expertise allows us to provide legal advice, build a defense strategy, connect with your insurer, and represent you in court if necessary. Chat, fill out our online form, or contact us today to get a free consultation. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.