According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), as of May 2019, there are 28 states that have some form of hands-free driving laws in the United States, including some that have special caveats. These hands-free states include:
- District of Columbia
- Massachusetts (local options with hands-free laws)
- Michigan (local options with hands-free laws)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico (local options with hands-free laws)
- New York
- Ohio (local options with hands-free laws)
- Oklahoma (restricted to new drivers and official public drivers like bus drivers)
- Rhode Island
- Texas (in school-crossing zones)
- West Virginia
While most of these states have all-out bans on using your handheld cellphone while driving, some have certain specifications that they follow. In some cases, which are mostly listed above, these include only having hands-free laws that apply to new drivers such as minors and those with learner’s permits. Other states have laws that strictly ban individuals who work public transit jobs from using their handheld devices, such as bus drivers and trolly conductors.
With ever-changing laws on this hotly debated topic, more and more states are likely to follow suit. After all, these types of hands-free laws only keep our roadways inherently safer. Most people you will come across will tell you that the less cellphone use in moving vehicles, the better, which helps to keep drivers more focused on the job at hand: arriving safely at their destination.
Hands-Free Laws Make Roads Safer for All
In short, hands-free driving laws keep our roadways safer for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it keeps the driver’s eyes on the road. When a driver is busy texting or answering a phone call by hand, they are taking their eyes off the changing road conditions in front of them. While that text may only take a second to send, that second can mean the difference between life and death.
It would be one thing if texting and driving only endangered the lives of the individuals in the vehicle of the offender, but that is not the case. When drivers choose to distract themselves from the roadway—either knowingly or unknowingly—they are risking the lives of everybody in their general vicinity. It is not fair that drivers who play by the rules can be grievously injured or even killed because somebody wanted to text their friend about something trivial.
As smartphones have become more and more prevalent in our modern world, states have started to see first-hand the type of devastation that cell phone distracted driving can cause. After so many years of tragedies, legislators are finally beginning to take action for the safety of their state’s citizens. Soon, these laws will become much more widespread.
It is not just texting either. Smartphones offer a seemingly endless supply of distractions at the push of a button or the simple utterance of a voice command. With mobile game apps, music playlists, social media networks, and more, there have never been more ways to take your attention off the road right in front of you. When it comes to America’s roadways, and roadways all over the world, these distractions have cost countless people their livelihoods in ways that cannot be replaced.
Contact Our Team of Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Here at the Morris Bart law firm our team of personal injury attorneys will do everything in their power to protect our client’s right to compensation. Anybody who has ever been the victim of a distracted driving accident will tell you how negatively it affected his or her life. Even if the physical injuries are minor, the psychological damage can last a lifetime.
Modern smartphones can be a good thing. A world of knowledge at the press of a button, keeping up with loved ones, storing memories to last a lifetime, these are all good things. However, giving drivers more ways to be distracted is not a cause we can get behind. It does not matter if the state has laws against it or not. When a driver chooses to use their cellphone behind the wheel, they are putting lives at risk.
If you or a loved one has ever suffered an injury in a texting and driving or distracted driving accident, we would love to talk to you. To find out more about our services, call today at (800) 537-8185 for your free consultation or click here to find out more.