Cell Phone and Texting Legal FAQs

texting-drivingIsn’t texting while driving like changing the radio station? I do it all the time and it doesn’t seem dangerous.

Though both activities cause you to take your eyes off the road, texting is much more dangerous. The act of texting requires manual, cognitive, and visual attention.

Can young adults less than 18 years old legally use a cell phone while driving?

No. Ohio Revised Code 4511 states: “No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any street, highway, or property while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.”

Is “hands-free” or the use of a headset significantly safer?

A 2013 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that reaching for a phone, dialing, and texting increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times. Portable hands-free cell phone use also involved similar visual-manual tasks at least half of the time, which is associated with an increased crash risk.

Are truckers and bus drivers permitted to talk on a cell phone?

Since 2011, federal law bans truckers and bus drivers from using hand-held phones while driving. For more information, see the cell phone ban FAQs from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Is dialing a cell phone allowed when there is a hand-held ban in place?

Dialing a phone while operating a commercial vehicle is not permitted. A driver can initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button on a mobile telephone, earpiece, steering wheel, or instrument panel. This is comparable to using vehicle controls or instrument panel functions, such as the radio or climate control system.

Are you a car accident victim, or do you have a legal question? Submit your questions to Nancy by email at [email protected]