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What You Need to Know About Distracted Driving

A man behind the wheel of the car looks at his phone instead of the road.A great U.S. freedom is the ability to drive the open roads. However, every year there are more than 20,000 car accidents in Michigan. Many of these accidents come from distracted driving and could have been avoided. Distracted driving is such a problem in Michigan, it is actually one of the top five most common traffic violations here. 

Do your part in keeping the roads safe by focusing on the road when you are behind the wheel. Let’s go through some of the most important guidelines, laws, and regulations here in Michigan about distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Let’s start with what distracted driving means in Michigan. When you are driving, your main focus should be on the road. Distracted driving draws your attention away in three forms:

  • Physical Distractions: Any object causing you to take your hands off the steering wheel. Some examples include eating and smoking.
  • Visual Distractions: Any reason that takes your eyes away from the road. Some examples include checking your GPS or looking at the kids in the back. 
  • Mental Distractions: Anything that takes your mind off of driving. Some examples include conversations or thinking about your what’s for dinner.

Each type of distraction raises your chance of getting into an accident. Michigan’s laws right now focus on cell phone use. Let’s break that down. 

What are Michigan’s Laws to Prevent Distracted Driving?

Michigan law prevents the following:

  • Texting of any kind while in the driver’s seat, including reading, sending, or writing text messages
  • Drivers under 18 with a learner’s permit from using a cell phone at all times while driving
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles or school buses from using a cell phone
  • Cell phone use in Detroit or Battle Creek

Exceptions to Distracted Driving Laws in Michigan

The exceptions to the use of cell phones while driving include:

  • Reporting an accident, emergency, or road hazard
  • Reporting an unsafe situation
  • As part of official duties as a public safety officer

What Happens if I am Fined for Distracted Driving in Michigan?

The penalties for distracted driving in Michigan include:

  • First Violation: $100
  • Second or Additional Violations: $200

What Should You Do if You’ve Been Cited for Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a dangerous choice that can have life-threatening consequences for you and those around you on the road. Do everything you can to keep your focus on the road or switch with another driver who can. If you have been cited for distracted driving, legal representation can protect your rights. Contact the attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services, who have the experience of more than 21 years defending Michigan residents.

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