Can You Talk on the Phone While You Drive in Maryland?

Even if your eyes are still on the road, Maryland law still considers driving and talking on the phone as a distraction. Maryland law defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving. If you’re talking on the phone, you’re focusing on the conversation and not what’s going on around you.

Driving requires full attention. If someone turns into your lane but you’re speaking with someone on the phone, you may miss the opportunity to slow down and stop an accident. Maryland takes distracted driving seriously and has regulations to stop Maryland residents from continuing the behavior. If you have further questions about how distracted driving has impacted your case, contact The Law Office of Hillel Traub today.

Can You Talk on the Phone While You Drive in Maryland?

In Maryland, an individual may not use their hands to use a handheld device, other than to turn a telephone on and off or to start and end a call. You are unable to hold the device in your hand. Since texting and driving is a primary offense, if an officer sees you holding a phone, they have the authority to stop the vehicle and investigate the situation immediately.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Adult drivers may use handheld phones for emergency use. Calling 911, an ambulance, the fire department, a law enforcement agency, or a hospital are examples of emergency situations where the driver can use their phone. Individuals may also use wireless communication devices or hand-free devices built within the car.

It’s important to note that those under the age of 18 may not use wireless communication devices at all while driving. The only time they may use a hands-free phone is when calling emergency services. An officer is able to pull them over and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) may suspend their provisional driver’s license or learner’s permit for up to 90 days.

What Is Considered Distracted Driving in Maryland?

Not every distraction means taking your eyes off the road. Maryland considers distracted driving as anything that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary task of driving. There are three categories of distractions that an act may fall under:

  • Visual: Visual distractions are anything that takes your eyes off the road. Some examples include billboards, pedestrians, or even other passengers.
  • Manual: When your hands leave the wheel to grab or use an object, you are distracted while driving. For example, changing the radio, grabbing your drink, or holding your phone are all manual distractions.
  • Cognitive: The last category is a cognitive distraction, where a driver takes their mind off driving. Having an extensive conversation on the phone, operating the vehicle while experiencing fatigue, and thinking about tomorrow’s agenda may all cause your mind to wander.

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of fatal accidents in the United States. In an effort to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents, injuries, and fatalities, Maryland law takes these acts very seriously. Those found distracted driving may have their license suspended and high fines for the action.

Contact The Law Office of Hillel Traub for an Experienced Traffic Offense Attorney

With technology continuing to intertwine with our daily lives, it’s almost impossible to detach yourself from a text message or phone call. A family member or your boss may call you unexpectedly. Many people have difficulty rejecting incoming calls while driving, which may lead to a traffic offense.

The Law Office of Hillel Traub understands the challenges you face when driving and how difficult it may be to detach yourself from your phone. A simple mistake should not continue to impact your life drastically. Let Hillel Traub, who is a former lawyer for the MVA, represent you in a traffic offense case. Our firm can provide you with dependable resources and answers. Call (410) 580-1100 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today.