Distracted driving laws quickly changing use of smartphones while driving

Distracted driving is receiving lots of attention – in the media and in the legislature. One cause of distracted driving is use of electronic devices, and since January, new federal regulations prevent commercial drivers from holding mobile phones while driving. In many states and communities, local laws extend this restriction of talking or texting on mobile phones to include private citizens.

Thirty-five states have banned texting while driving, and about a third of those also require phone usage to be hands-free.

These laws are coming to light for good reason. More than 18 percent of fatalities in distraction-related crashes involved a mobile phone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And two-thirds of Americans report they support restricting the use of hand-held mobile phones will driving, according to a survey by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

For businessmen and women, smartphones are a lifeline to getting business done – while on the road. The smartphone has become their entire office – handling phone calls, emails and viewing documents.

Due to quickly advancing technology, people are more reliant on mobile phones for both personal and business use. Hands-free devices are allowing people to keep both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, while still being able to take calls and handle email using their voice.

The Plantronics Marque M155 Bluetooth headset is discreet and lightweight – a hand’s free device design to fit a smartphone user’s communication style. If a call were to come in while you’re behind the wheel, just say “answer” to hold the conversation. Texting, tweeting and managing emails also can be done using your voice so you can enjoy your ride and keep your eyes on the road.

If you’re always on the go – whether it’s on the road or moving from one meeting to another – the Plantronics Voyager PRO HD offers maximum performance with crystal clear audio quality and extended battery life. The over-the-ear design is perfect for all-day wear so you can spend your day on the road without missing any of your work.

Legislation is getting tougher on mobile phone use, and the penalties are pretty steep. For example, the federal law preventing commercial drivers from holding mobile phones can result in a $ 2,750 fine, along with the risk of license revocation. Various states have various laws restricting mobile phone use. Since last July, New York – which restricts drivers from texting and driving – has issued 119,000 tickets to texting drivers.

April is Distracted Driving Month, making this a good time to review how hands-free devices on your mobile phone can help you stay more focused on the road in front of you. Visit the Plantronics blog at blogcentral.plantronics.com/distracted-driving to learn more about how laws are changing to reduce distracted driving events and keep roadways safer.