Every state in the U.S. is interesting and unique, but Hawaii is particularly unusual in many ways. It’s an archipelago, it’s far from the continental U.S., and its topography is different from other U.S. states.
However, it’s also unique in a more mundane--but deeply important--way: its driving laws.
In order to be a safe driver in Hawaii, you need to follow Hawaii’s unique driving laws. Learn them and follow them to the letter-- it makes the road safer. Of course, not every driver is going to follow the rules.
But don’t let that stop you. Following the rules protects you, other drivers, and any potential claim you choose to file if you get injured.
Specific Rules in Hawaii
Make yourself familiar with all of Hawaii’s unique driving laws, but pay special attention to these ones.
Seatbelts: Unlike many states, every person in a car in Hawaii must be wearing a seatbelt. This means that whether you’re in the front seat or back seat, you must be safely fastened in with a seatbelt. Children under 4 need to be in a child safety restraint system, and children 4 to 8 have to use a booster seat.
Drunk driving: Hawaii’s law states that any adult 21 or older who is operating a car with a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08 is driving drunk. Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are not mandatory for first-time offenders. Drivers under the age of 21 aren’t allowed to have any measurable alcohol in their systems.
Open container laws: Open containers of alcohol aren’t allowed to be in any part of the car where they can be easily accessed by the driver or passengers. They are allowed to be placed in the trunk of the car.
Distracted driving: There are no exceptions to the texting while driving rule; if you’re driving in Hawaii, you’re simply not allowed to be texting while driving, no matter what. There’s also a ban on handheld devices while driving. However, this refers to using your hands to operate a cell phone rather than using hands-free technology.
Distracted Driving and Your Hawaii Auto Accident
You’re following all of Hawaii’s driving rules. But that doesn’t stop a driver from hitting your car at 50 miles per hour. The accident ends up giving you whiplash and broken ribs, and later, you learn that the driver who caused the accident was texting and driving.
Keep in mind that Hawaii is considered a “no-fault” state when it comes to insurance. This means that you’ll be filing with your own insurance company rather than the other party’s.
The one time that you would be able to file a claim outside of the one with your insurance company is when the expenses from your accident end up costing more than $5,000.
A personal injury attorney can shed some light on what these complex rules mean for your case, so contact one even though Hawaii is technically a no-fault state.
Find an Attorney Who Can Help You
If you always pay attention to Hawaii’s driving laws, you’ll minimize your chances of getting into an accident. But remember that if you do end up in an accident with someone who didn’t obey those laws, there are avenues for recourse.
Contact a PI attorney today to learn more about what your options would be, and start your journey to getting the compensation you deserve.