Holding your phone while driving is illegal

You have probably seen Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about the dangers of texting and driving. If you’re a young driver who just went through training, your instructor likely spent a lot of time explaining how many deadly accidents distraction causes every year. Regardless of your age, you have likely seen news stories about some of these crashes.

The thing to remember is that, in Arizona, distracted driving is not just dangerous. It’s illegal.

Arizona uses hands-free distracted driving laws. They go beyond merely prohibiting texting and driving. You also cannot hold the phone to make calls or do other activities — using apps, browsing social media, taking videos, etc — while you drive.

The only way to legally use your phone is to engage the hands-free mode. For instance, many new cars have Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems so that you can keep both hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road, while holding a phone conversation through the car’s own audio system. It just syncs with your phone.

So, how do you make or answer a call without picking up your phone? You can either do it before you start driving, have a passenger do it for you while you drive, or use the voice-activated controls to give commands to your phone. You should never have to hold the device in your hand; that’s where police draw the line.

As you can see, Arizona takes distracted driving very seriously. You could face penalties if you get caught breaking the hands-free laws or if you break them and cause an accident as a result. Be sure you know what legal options you have.