Arkansas defines distracted driving as drinking, eating, talking on a cell phone, texting, and talking to passengers. It is considered a serious traffic violation, so if you are caught you will get fined.
For drivers under 18 years of age, all cell phone use is banned. Drivers who are between the ages of 18 and 20 are not allowed to use handheld cellphones while driving through highway work zones or school zones. When it comes to texting and driving, all drivers, no matter what their age is, are banned from texting. If a police officer notices you are violating any of these laws, they can pull you over without any other cause.
- Under 18 means no cell phone use at all
- 18 to 20 years of age means no handheld cell phone usage while going through highway or school zones
- All drivers are banned from texting while driving
- Fines up to $100
- In emergency situations
- Firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical technicians are exempt
In 2008, more than 780 car accidents involved people who were distracted by their cell phones or other electronic devices. Furthermore, talking on a cell phone causes about 25 percent of all vehicle accidents in the State of Arkansas. Texting while driving can be more dangerous than driving while intoxicated because if you text and drive, you are six times more likely to get into an accident than someone drinking and driving.
The State of Arkansas has very specific laws when it comes to using cell phones in vehicles. Failing to adhere to these laws can result in fines up to $100. Even if you need to use your phone in an emergency situation, it is a good idea to pull over to the side of the road. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Motorists discovered that those who text or make calls on their cell phones while driving down the road are four times more likely to get into an accident than those not using cell phones. It is best to be safe and put your cell phone away while you are driving so you are not even tempted to take it out.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Arkansas and was authored by Valerie Johnston.