Massachusetts Hands-Free Driving Law Goes into Effect in February 2020

Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of avoidable injury accidents on the roadway. These crashes can impact motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, and are not unique to private individuals. Even common carriers have faced issues with drivers using their cell phones behind the wheel. Although no amount of money can truly repair the damage that you have suffered after a motor vehicle accident, it can help you cope with the financial stress and ongoing expenses like medical bills. At Mass Injury Group, our Boston car accident lawyers are ready to assist you with seeking the compensation that you deserve from a careless driver.

Starting February 23, 2020, Massachusetts has a new law impacting drivers’ ability to use a cellphone behind the wheel. The law applies to drivers over the age of 18 and allows them to use a mobile device in a hands-free way. Drivers may only touch their mobile devices to engage the hands-free mode such as answering a call or initiating a call. Additionally, the device must be mounted to a dashboard, windshield, or center console to ensure that it does not make it difficult for the driver to operate the vehicle. Using the device for activities like texting, emailing, surfing the web, using apps, and watching videos are prohibited. Drivers can use a GPS service if they install the device according to the law’s requirements.

If the driver wants to use the device with his or her hands, he or she must be parked, and the vehicle must be stationary outside of a public lane of travel. If the driver wants to use a headset, only one earpiece may be inserted into the driver’s ear. Voice to text is only permitted when the device is properly mounted according to the law’s specifications.

As motorists can see, this is a rigid law that seriously cracks down on the use of handheld devices behind the wheel. Law enforcement will be prepared to enforce this law and likely eager to ensure that drivers are aware of the new requirements regarding hands-free use behind the wheel. Despite its serious attempt to put a stop to distracted driving, many drivers will still violate this law.

If you are involved in an accident with someone who was distracted behind the wheel, you may be entitled to compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. This type of action requires you to show that the other driver was operating his or her vehicle in a negligent way. Negligence is generally defined as not using the same reasonable care and skill that a prudent driver would have used when faced with a similar situation. This involves refraining from engaging in distracted driving activities and ensuring that he or she is obeying all applicable traffic laws.

At Mass Injury Group, our seasoned team of experienced attorneys understands how stressful a car accident involving a distracted driver can be. We provide extensive legal services including gathering evidence to show that the other driver acted negligently and negotiating with insurance companies. We provide a free consultation to help you learn more about your legal rights and potential options. To schedule your confidential meeting, call us at 617-263-0060 or contact us online to get started.