Distracted Driving | Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog
Distracted driving has become a common occurrence in everyday life… while also being one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can exhibit. While we have discussed the importance and the impact of Arizona’s anti-cellphone law, we also understand that these habits are hard to break. Drivers are often pressured by family members and coworkers to answer calls while driving, quickly respond to texts and social media messages, and rely heavily on GPS.
A new texting-while-driving ban has been passed in Arizona and took effect on January 1st, 2021. While some cities in Arizona have already issued cellphone bans in the past, this new law is meant to focus on the state as a whole, to push for safer roads. Distracted driving is a serious issue on the roadways across America, and especially in Arizona itself. The law is already having a major impact on the community.
Distracted driving has long been an issue that puts everyone on the road in danger. However, since the popularity of mobile devices has skyrocketed over the past decade, distracted driving accidents have also skyrocketed. In response, many states have banned the use of a cellphone while driving. Arizona has, sadly, not been among them… until this coming January. Starting in 2021, the state of Arizona will ban certain cellphone use for drivers.
Until recently, Arizona, along with Montana and Missouri, was one of three states that did not have a statewide ban on texting while driving. Many AZ cities had enacted laws banning cellphone use in some form, but only now has the ban become statewide.
Drivers who engage in texting while driving are a major factor in the increase in distracted driving accidents across the country. According to the National Safety Council:
Lawmakers recently passed a statewide ban of handheld cellphones by motorists, and now HB 2318 is up to Governor Doug Ducey to sign. Lawmakers decided against approving a different version, which would only allow police to pull over motorists for a different reason before citing them for use of a cellphone while driving. They did approve this one, which gives police the ability to stop motorists solely because they see them calling or texting while driving, or using a cellphone in any other way without a hands-free device.
Lawmakers have tried in the past to pass a statewide texting ban, and they will try again in 2019. Sen. Kate Trophy McGee introduced SB 1165, which would make it illegal to text while behind the wheel unless in hands-free mode.
Why is this bill important?
Many couples use Valentine’s Day as a way to express their love for each other and go out to celebrate. Some choose to dine at a fancy restaurant. Others do something adventurous they wouldn’t try at any other time of the year, such as rock climbing or salsa dancing.
But for some couples, the Valentine’s Day pressure is too much, and they break up. If this happens to you, please remember: emotional driving is unsafe driving. We’ll show you why.
Distracted driving has certainly increased over the past ten years. While the rate of drivers holding a phone in their hand to talk or text has dropped by half (from 6.2% in 2007 to 3.3% in 2016), other use of cell phones while driving has increased.
Many people ask us, “Is it illegal to drive when you are tired?” While the short answer is no, it is a bit more complicated than that. Fatigued drivers are often found at fault for car accidents because they fail to obey traffic rules or fail to yield to other cars.
Even under the best of circumstances, there is always an element of risk in driving. Recently, this level of risk has increased dramatically due to the use of cell phones while driving. In 2015 alone, nearly 400,000 people were injured or killed in automobile accidents that involved distracted drivers. Many of these accidents were caused by drivers simply taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds to read a text message.
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