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Can you use your phone at a red light in Maryland?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Distracted driving is a major law enforcement target — and for good reason. This behavior is negligent and contributes widely to car accidents and injuries.

If another driver was texting or using the phone while driving, that could put you in danger. That risk definitely exists during the few critical seconds the directions of traffic change at intersections.

The Maryland law

The state law says that it is illegal for drivers to use handheld telephones while a vehicle is in motion. This “in motion” phrase is often a matter of contention when people get tickets.

Nevertheless, there are laws on the books that specifically prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. If this type of activity led to your injury or contributed to its severity, that could strengthen a personal injury case that you bring against the negligent driver.

Maryland law, however, also uses a relatively strict interpretation of fault. Any negligent act that you commit could seriously threaten your potential ability to collect compensation from another driver.

Cell phone use at red lights

Police do issue citations for cell phone use in stopped vehicles, such as those at red lights or stop signs. Even if a driver has their foot on the brake, their lack of concentration on their surroundings could endanger them — and you.

The facts of these cases vary considerably. Therefore, depending on the evidence available, the arguments for someone else’s liability in your civil suit might be stronger or weaker.

There are various other forms of distraction. For example, fiddling with car controls, arguing with passengers or eating could all distract drivers for a moment. Unfortunately, a moment is all it takes to damage someone else’s future.

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