Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,600 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the safety of drivers, passengers and bystanders, and cell phone use is the number one distraction behind the wheel.
Talking on a cell phone while driving makes you four times as likely to crash, and texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 23 times, according to the National Safety Council.
What you can do
The safest thing to do is to not use any device while driving. If you must, we have created a guide to some of the acceptable hands-free technologies.
Know the law.
UPDATED LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN June 18, 2015
DMV ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN June 24, 2014
The ban takes effect October 1, 2014 and covers all portable electronic devices, including, music players, laptop computers, and cellular telephones.
Hands-free use is permitted under the law, and hands-free means without the use of either hand and outside the immediate proximity of the user’s ear, by employing an internal feature—such as Bluetooth, for example—or as long as the device is in a cradle or otherwise securely mounted in the vehicle.
Note that the ban is lifted when the driver needs to communicate with law enforcement or emergency service personnel under emergency circumstances.
Know the consequences.
- A person who violates this section commits a traffic violation and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 and not more than $200.00 for a first violation, and of not less than $250.00 and not more than $500.00 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period.
- A person convicted of violating this section while operating within a properly designated work zone in which construction, maintenance, or utility personnel are present shall have two points assessed against his or her driving record for a first conviction and five points assessed for a second or subsequent conviction.
- A person convicted of violating this section outside a work zone in which personnel are present shall not have points assessed against his or her driving record.
While you're driving please keep both eyes on the road, both hands on the wheel, and put your phone down.
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