Does Ohio Allow Cell Phone Use While Driving?

With the introduction of smart phones over the past decade and their subsequent widespread use, the temptation to talk on the phone, send text messages, respond to emails, or browse the web while driving is greater than ever. Despite its distracting nature and well-known dangers as a leading cause of car accidents, many drivers continue to use their phones while behind the wheel. But what does the law say?

In the state of Ohio, it is illegal for novice drivers under the age of 18 to use any type electronic wireless communications device while driving. This means that younger drivers many not do any of the following while behind the wheel:

  • Typing and reading text messages
  • Emailing
  • Talking on the phone
  • Using laptops, tablets, or portable video game systems
  • Using a GPS unless it is voice-operated or hands-free

Novice drivers who are caught doing any of the above may be cited by police and receive a $150 fine and a 60 day license suspension for a first offense; second offenses may bring a $300 fine and a one year suspension. Adult drivers in Ohio may only use voice-operated or hands-free phones, with handset use only being allowed for emergency communications. Likewise, texting and driving or using some other handheld electronic communications device is illegal and can bring a fine of $150.

In addition to being ticketed, drivers who are found to have been negligently using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving may be held financially liable for any damages they should cause in the event of a collision. Depending on the circumstances, injured parties may have grounds to pursue compensation from a cell phone-using driver for their lost wages, vehicle repair costs, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Injured by a Distracted Driver?

At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., our knowledgeable Toledo car accident lawyers have recovered more than $50 million on behalf of clients injured by distracted drivers. If you were struck by a motorist who was using a cell phone in violation of state or local ordinances, our team of advocates can help you file a claim against the responsible party and provide the compassionate representation you need to pursue maximum compensation.

Schedule a complimentary case evaluation or call (419) 318-0772 to discuss your legal options.
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