Driving is a habitual activity and for many it has become an unconscious process. Innovative technology and a demand for comfort have given drivers an unwarranted sense of security. When operating any vehicle, it is imperative to be aware, consider others on the road, and avoid distractions.  That’s why there are distracted driving laws in Arizona.

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In 2021, over 1,000 Arizona residents were killed in auto-vehicle crashes. Nearly 75% of drivers use their phones while driving and over the past seven years, at least 9% of all fatal traffic collisions involved a distracted driver.  

Distractions can include anything from eating to chatting with passengers. The most frequent and most deadly distraction is cell phone use. Nationally, more than 1.5 million crashes each year are linked to cell phone usage and those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to get into an accident. 

The rise in crashes connected to cell phone use caused Arizona to pass A.R.S. § 28-914, which prohibits the following while driving: 

  • Physically holding or supporting a cell phone or any electronic device. 
  • Writing, sending, or reading any text messages, instant messages, email, or any internet data on a cell phone or electronic device. 

A citation for using your cell phone while driving generates a minimum $75 fine for the first offense and subsequent violations will be at least $150 but not more than $250.

The statute does not bar all forms of cell phone use, hands-free use of electronic devices, such as utilizing Bluetooth or a wireless headset, is acceptable. The law recognizes the utility of GPS, hands-free calling, and voice commanded prompts, and punishes the use of cell phones or texting while driving. 

If you are involved in a crash, it’s important to know the distracted driving laws in Arizona and the four things you should do. 

Get Yourself and Your Vehicle to a Safe Place 

The first and most important thing you should do when involved in a crash is ensure you are safe. Take a deep breath, reorient yourself to your surroundings, and try and determine if you have been injured. If you feel fine physically, inspect your vehicle, if it is drivable, try and move the car out of the roadway to a safe space. Lastly, take pictures of the damage, both to your car and any others involved so you can document the crash scene. 

Call the Police and Report the Incident 

Individuals should call the police after an accident, regardless of the damage. It creates a report that your insurance can utilize and can be used in litigation as an account of the collision. Even if the crash is not your fault, it is critical to gather as much information as possible. Police reports will include relevant information such as the date and time of the crash, where it occurred, how it occurred, whether there are witnesses, whether any vehicle committed a moving violation or improper action.  Additionally, many times, police officers will take statements from drivers or witnesses, interview and inspect the crash scene while wearing a body cam and take photographs of the collision scene. 

Seek Medical Attention

Oftentimes, following a crash, your adrenaline will outweigh any pain or distress that you have suffered after a crash.  It is crucial to make sure that you get checked out by a medical doctor who is trained to perform a thorough medical examination and order medical treatment if needed. Never neglect an injury that occurred from your crash.

Contact an Attorney 

Call an attorney who specializes in car crash cases who can evaluate your case. Victims are not legal professionals and shouldn’t be expected to fight the billion-dollar insurance company.  Many don’t know all the damages that you are entitled to, which is the job of an attorney who litigates and tries car crash cases in courtrooms. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible so they can begin collecting evidence surrounding the crash and help you navigate the difficulties of dealing with an injury after a serious crash.

These tips and tricks will ensure a lawsuit then ends in your favor after a car crash. 

Author: David Shapiro is an attorney and founder for Shapiro Law Team. For more information, visit www.shapirolawaz.com.