We’ve all seen the ads that warn against using your phone while you drive. However, did you know that the Mythbusters concluded that driving while talking on the phone is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Texting can be even worse, as your eyes are not on the road at all.
Check out this information from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute:
“Text messaging, which is approximately 20 times riskier than driving while not using a phone, also had the longest duration of eyes-off-road time (an average of 4.6 seconds). This equates to a driver traveling the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the roadway. The VTTI Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operations study found that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event are more than 23 times greater for CMV drivers who engage in texting while driving than for those who do not.”
Think about that for a moment. If someone challenged you to drive down a football field at 55 mph without looking, would you? What about a football field filled with other moving vehicles being driven by people who also aren’t looking? Yikes.
As far as the law is concerned, there are no state-wide bans on the use of cell phones for texting or making calls while driving in Arizona. However, in Phoenix and Tucson there is legislation that levies fines of $100 for texting while driving and $250 if it is the cause of an accident.( See the Phoenix legislation) Across Arizona, you may be pulled over for distracted driving, reckless driving, or speed greater than reasonable and prudent. If you are operating a commercial vehicle, it is against federal regulations to use a cell phone while driving. Accidents caused by a driver who using their cell phone is high, and the number of daily accidents is climbing. A.R.S. 28-693 prohibits reckless driving. The statute states, A person who drives a vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving and is a class 1 misdemeanor. Drivers are also being cited under A.R.S 28-701A, speed greater than reasonable and prudent. Law enforcement has stated that any speed is unreasonable while operating a cell phone.
With all of these reasons, it’s a wonder why people continue to use their phones while they are driving. We’re issuing you a challenge for the next 30 days: put your phone away before you start your car. Put it in the glove box, in your purse, or throw it in the backseat if you feel like it. Just keep it out of sight and mind as you focus on the road. If you are worried about other people getting mad that you aren’t answering the phone or responding immediately to their text messages, send out some text messages to let everyone know you will be driving and won’t be able to respond.
For some people, it’s in their nature to come running every time their phone makes a notification sound. If that sounds like you, consider putting your phone on silent or even turning it off before you get in your car. Don’t risk your safety and the safety of others by trying to use your phone while driving.
The Arizona traffic violation attorneys at Tyler Allen Law Firm are here for you if you are faced with a civil or criminal traffic charge, but we want you to be safe! Feel free to read more about our services, and don’t forget to put that phone away. Contact us today.