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What are the laws regarding Distracted Driving in Arizona?

Distracted driving is attributed to approximately 11% of automobile accidents that take place in Arizona. When we talk about distracted driving, we usually think of someone using a cell phone while driving. However, in a surprising number of cases, there are outside distractions involved that cause more vehicular accidents. Although many states strictly ban the use of cell phones while driving, the state of Arizona has not cracked on it yet. Only school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving, but there is no ban in place for automobile drivers.

Some of the most common “outside distractions” that cause accidents include billboards and construction sites. These result in the driver being inattentive, ultimately leading to an accident. There are numerous construction sites in cities, and it is important to keep your attention on the road and on the surroundings when passing through a construction zone. Accidents commonly occur when vehicles speed or merge into other lanes near construction sites. However, if they paid attention to the sign boards around informing them about a construction site ahead, or about lanes merging, those accidents can easily be avoided. At construction sites, people can easily avoid accidents if they do not allow themselves get distracted by the work that is being done there.

Other common driving distractions for drivers are activities that happen inside the car. For example, the driver could be searching something or reaching for something inside the car. They could be eating or drinking and just for a second if they take their eyes off the road, it could be fatal. Even changing the volume of the radio, adjusting the air conditioning, changing a CD, or applying make-up while driving are also common distractions. They all can contribute to an accident or collision, as much as their cell phones. A lot of people think they can multitask while driving, but that is a huge risk they are taking because multitasking while driving decreases the reaction time of the driver significantly.

A.R.S. 28-701 of the Arizona Revised Statutes addresses the issue of over-speeding as “Reasonable and prudent speed; prima facie evidence; exceptions.”

The law states that a person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than the speed that is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances.

Apart from the over speeding statute, there is no statute in place that targets the use of cell phone specifically while driving in Arizona. However, the Arizona Department of Public Safety has been recommending the use of an existing law to deter people from using cell phones while driving. Ideally, the recommended speed for texting while driving should be zero miles per hours. Therefore, if a police officer sees someone texting while driving on the highway, they can pull the driver over.

If you have been charged with distracted driving in the state of Arizona, you can get help from an attorney to help reduce the charge. Call Attorney Brian Sloan at the Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan for a Free Initial Consultation at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384.

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