The advent of cellphones, laptops, and LCD displays has provided drivers with a lot of ways to distract themselves while driving. Unfortunately, many drivers aren’t aware of how dangerous even brief distractions can be. The few seconds it takes to glance at a text message translate to hundreds of feet of travel on the road. This is more than enough time for an unexpected change to cause an accident. Distracted driving laws in Arizona are now attempting to address this danger as never before in the state’s history.
Distracted Driving Laws in Arizona
Distracted driving is a complicated legal concept, as distractions can take many forms. Turning to address another occupant of a vehicle isn’t illegal in most places, even though it could be considered a distraction.
Following a fatal incident in which a law enforcement officer was struck by a distracted driver, the state of Arizona has banned using a phone or other electronic device while driving. All of the changes in response to this incident took effect on January 1, 2021, and are being actively enforced.
Though these new rules are harsher than the previous, you are still allowed to use devices in hands-free mode while driving, as long as you aren’t taking your eyes off the road. You can still swipe your screen to answer the phone, and you can still use GPS devices mounted on a dashboard. You can manipulate your phone with your hands while parked or stopped at a stoplight, but you must switch to hands-free modes whenever moving.
New changes also ban other dangerous behaviors, such as eating and driving. They do, however, allow for reasonable uses, so calling 911 in an emergency and using a car radio are still allowed. Though it might seem that distracted driving laws in Arizona would be difficult to enforce, law enforcement agencies have already reported issuing thousands of tickets.
Penalties for Failing To Follow the Law
Most drivers pulled over for distracted driving haven’t caused serious harm, so initial penalties are often fairly mild. After repeated offenses, however, costs and penalties quickly multiply.
First infractions usually result in a ticket between $75 and $149. Second and later offenses cost between $150 and $250. Should your distraction result in injury or death, this is considered a class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you may face a jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to $100,000. You may also have your license suspended for a year.
If Someone Else Has Injured You While Ignoring Distracted Driving Laws in Arizona
Falling victim to another person’s negligence can leave you feeling powerless and frustrated. Proving someone else was being irresponsible is time-consuming and difficult, and many accident victims simply don’t have the time or energy. This is why you need a skilled Phoenix personal injury lawyer who can take care of the process for you.
If you’ve been injured by someone who wasn’t following distracted driving laws in Arizona, don’t settle for standard-tier legal care. At MDK Law Group, our Phoenix car accident lawyers work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand your difficult situation and will treat your case as a personal matter. For a free consultation, call or message our team online today.