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Fewer Phoenix car accidents could result from proposed texting ban; traveling motorists face various restrictions

When it comes to distracted driving laws, Arizona remains part of the last frontier. But leave the state on a summer vacation and you may find yourself sitting on the side of the road awaiting a traffic citation for using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Advocates contend the number of Phoenix car accidents, and the number of traffic accidents elsewhere in Arizona, would decline if text messaging and/or cell phone use were outlawed while driving. The state senate passed such a measure last month, though for now Arizona remains one of a declining number of states that do little to regulate cell phone use by drivers.Our Phoenix injury lawyers continue to report on the high number of accidents caused by distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 6,000 people a year are killed and 500,000 injured in distracted driving accidents.

Only school bus drivers in Arizona are forbidden from using cell phones while driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that Arizona joins Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and South Dakota as states without laws aimed at preventing drivers from text messaging or using hand-held phones while behind the wheel.

MSNBC reports the patchwork of laws can create havoc for summer road trips. “Drivers are still responsible for knowing the cell phone laws that apply in each state,” said AAA spokeswoman Nancy White.

Fines range from $20 to $150 for a first offense and could put a real ding in your summer travel budget.

Eight state ban all use of hand-held cell phones altogehter: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington.

-Twenty-eight states prohibit new drivers and teenagers from using cell phones.

-Thirty states now ban drivers from text messaging.

Some state permit cities to enact their own legislation, so the laws can vary even within a state. For example, Illinois forbids drivers from text messaging, which the City of Chicago has outlawed all hand-held cell phone use by drivers. Other states, like Florida, have prevented cities from enacting their own legislation.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Phoenix injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.

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