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Is It Illegal to Talk on the Phone while Driving?

Across the USA, it is illegal to text, surf the web, use social media, etc., on a cell phone while driving. However, in recent years it’s become less clear whether speaking on a handheld cell phone is illegal or not. This is confusing, especially for drivers who frequently cross state lines.

State by State

The legality of speaking on a handheld phone while driving entirely depends on the state in which you life. Here is the information for the three states where Craig Swapp & Associates has an office:

  • Utah – Illegal to talk on a mobile phone while driving, but you can’t be cited for it unless you’ve been pulled over for another offense.
  • Idaho – Legal to talk on a mobile phone while driving.
  • Washington – Illegal to talk on a mobile phone while driving.

For a full list of each states laws visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Talking on the Phone while Driving Is Dangerous

Whether or not it is legal to talk on a handheld cell phone while driving in your state, it is dangerous. According to the National Safety Council an average of 1 million car accidents involve drivers talking on the phone every year in the US. Many of those accidents result in injuries and deaths.

This danger comes in large part from the fact that holding a cell phone to the ear while driving narrows a drivers field of vision. The NSC explains it may cause the driver to miss up to 50% of what’s around them. With decreased visibility, coupled with the audible distraction of talking with someone on the phone, the chance of accident goes up.

Hands-Free Phone Use

Many vehicles allow drivers to speak on their phones hands-free via Bluetooth systems or other setups. While hands-free calling and talking are legal across the country, they are still not without some risk of an accident. A study done at the University of Sussex determined that drivers are 0.98 seconds slower to respond to hazards while on a hands-free mobile phone than not. While that doesn’t sound like much, if you’re traveling 30 mph you’re going about 44 feet per second. The 0.98 delay can be the difference between an accident occurring or being avoided.

Accident Caused by Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers cause accidents and the biggest distractor is by far cell phones. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a driver using their cell phone, you deserve fair and full compensation. At Craig Swapp & Associates our experienced attorneys fight for the following:

  • All medical bills associated with the accident
  • Lost wages due to work missed
  • General pain and suffering
  • A decrease in quality of life
  • And more depending on the specifics of the case

Insurance companies may be quick to deny fault for an accident, even if their client was using a cell phone when the accident occurred. The goal of the at-fault insurance company is to minimize the amount the victim receives. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how the insurance companies work and will fight to maximize the victim’s final compensation.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, get in touch with the experienced attorneys of Craig Swapp & Associates today at 1-800-404-9000. Help is just a call away.

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