Cell phones have become a necessity in today’s day and age, but like all things, there are some negative aspects to cell phone use, including the number of car accidents they cause. Drivers will use their phones while driving, get distracted, and cause their car to crash.
Fortunately, the state of Utah has taken steps to reduce the number of cell phone-related car accidents by implementing strict texting and driving laws. Read on to learn more about what UT distracted driving laws entail and the consequences associated with using your cell phone while driving in Utah.
The Basics of Utah’s Texting and Driving Laws
Under Utah law, and handheld cell phone use is strictly prohibited. This means you cannot use your cell phone, with your hands, while driving for any reason. You cannot check your email, send a quick text message, update your Facebook status, or even change the song you were listening to.
However, newer cars have the ability to connect to your phone through Bluetooth. When your phone connects to Bluetooth, you may be able to make calls, send text messages, change the radio, and even get directions, all without taking your hands off the wheel. If your vehicle does not come equipped with Bluetooth capabilities, better to keep your phone out of arm’s reach until you get to wherever you’re going.
Consequences for Violating the Law
Texting while driving and handheld cell phone use in general is against the law. This means that those who continue to use their phone while driving are subject to citations and other, more serious penalties.
A first-time offender may be facing a jail term of up to three months and a $750 fine, a misdemeanor. However, if someone who chose to use their phone while driving caused another person to suffer any injury or death, they could face felony charges.
A felony conviction in Utah could result in a 15-year prison sentence and fines not to exceed $10,000. For this reason, those facing such penalties may need to consult a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer for help avoiding a conviction.
Setting legal consequences aside, if you are someone who uses their cell phone while driving, it is in your best interest to refrain from doing so. You could cause serious injury to yourself or others by driving distracted. Instead, make calls using your hands-free device or wait until you get to your destination.