Many people rely heavily on their cell phones for everything from remaining in touch with loved ones, to checking their email, to keeping up with the news. With our connected world, it’s hard to put down the phone some times. When you’re behind the wheel, however, it is critical that you remain focused and undistracted. This is why many states in the U.S. have banned cell phone use while driving. Ohio is one of these states.
Ohio Cell Phone & Driving Laws
The use of mobile devices isn’t completely banned in Ohio, but there are heavy restrictions on their use. These restrictions include:
- Drivers under 18 may not use any wireless communication device while driving.
- All drivers are forbidden from texting while driving.
- Drivers over 18 may use a handheld mobile device with a hands-free system.
Certain situations are an exception to these laws. These situations include any time when a driver must make an emergency call to law enforcement, medical personnel, and the fire department. These laws ban a great number of activities, including:
- Talking on your handheld mobile device
- Using a laptop, table, or other computer
- Playing video games
- Using a hand-held GPS device
The Penalties of Texting & Driving
If you’re under the age of 18, you can be pulled over simply for engaging in any of the above activities. If you’re over the age of 18, the anti-texting law is a secondary law, meaning that you cannot be pulled over for only texting while driving. For a first offense, the fine is $150 and your license will be suspended for 60 days. For subsequent offenses, the fine is $300 and your license will be suspended up to 1 year. In addition to the legal consequences of texting or talking on the phone while driving, there are safety consequences for doing so. Using your phone while driving takes your attention off of the road. Even a split second of distraction is enough for you to become involved in a serious accident. It simply isn’t worth the risk. Texting while driving is illegal in Ohio, which means that drivers who do so are considered to be negligent. If you were injured by a driver who was using their phone at the time of the accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation. At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A, our team is on your side. With more than 100 years of collective experience, our Toledo car accident lawyers are well-prepared to tackle your case.