Maine’s Hands-Free Driving Laws

According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use while driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Cell phone use leads to over 1.5 million crashes and close to 400,000 injuries. Maine drivers who engage in this risky behavior may be liable for any resulting injuries and damages.

Driving while texting or talking on the phone exponentially increases the likelihood of an accident. In addition to other distracted driving such as, adjusting music, arguing with passengers, and tending to children or pets in the backseat can have potentially fatal consequences and account for almost 30% of accidents in the United States.

In response to these startling statistics, Maine legislators enacted a hands-free driving bill. This recent law prohibits Maine drivers from using hand-held devices or cell phones while driving. Before this law, Maine banned texting and operating a motor vehicle; however, police officials expressed the challenges they encountered trying to discern texting drivers from those engaging in other similar behaviors. This law is designed to allow police officers to apprehend drivers who are using their phones in any manner while driving.

This law applies to drivers even if they are at a stop sign, stuck in traffic, or stopped at a traffic light. However, there are some exceptions to this legislation. Some permissible uses of hand-held devices while driving include when a driver is attempting to contact emergency personnel, if the phone is in hands-free mode, or if the person is a commercial or school bus driver and is using the device within the scope of their employment under applicable regulations.

Drivers who do not comply with this new law may incur a $50 fine for a first violation and $250 for subsequent offenses. Additionally, individuals who suffer injuries because of the negligence of a distracted driver may file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. These cases can be challenging because injury victims will need to prove that the other party was distracted when the accident occurred. Meeting the evidentiary burden and complying with applicable statutes can be burdensome, and it is essential that these victims retain an experienced Maine attorney to represent them in their lawsuits.

Have You Been Involved in a Maine Car Accident?

If you or someone you know sustained severe injuries because of a negligent driver, you should contact the dedicated Maine car accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. The attorneys at our law firm are up-to-date on the ever-changing laws that may impact our clients’ personal injury claim. Our skilled litigators have recovered substantial damage awards on behalf of our clients. Compensation in these cases often includes payments for medical bills, ongoing medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering. We understand that Maine car accident victims need both compassion and zealous advocacy. Our reputation is built on two decades of obtaining exceptional results for our clients in all types of personal injury cases. Contact our office today at 1-800-804-2004 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced Maine car accident attorneys.

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