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Arkansas Distracted Driving Laws 2022 – Everything You Should Know

Arkansas Distracted Driving Laws Everything You Should Know

Distracted driving causes nearly 60,000 accidents every year in Arkansas alone. So, if you’re concerned about your safety and the safety of others on the road, learning about Arkansas distracted driving laws is SO important. 

But what are the distracted driving laws in Arkansas this 2022?

Well, we’ll tell you everything you need to know in this article We’ll look at: 

  • what distracted driving is
  • what laws are in place to control it
  • what penalties are involved
  • what exemptions should you keep an eye out for

So buckle up and let’s go!

What is Distracted Driving in Arkansas?

Arkansas Distracted Driving Laws
Source: canva.com

In Arkansas, distracted driving is the act of driving a motorized vehicle while simultaneously engaging in another task. This takes your attention away from driving, causing you to get into car accidents and crashes. 

A common culprit of distracted driving is mobile phones and other handheld devices. This is why the state is currently focused on controlling mobile phone usage when behind the wheel.

Other activities that fall under the category of distracted driving are: 

  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, or MP3 player
  • Using a navigation system
  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating and drinking
  • Watching a video
  • Grooming
  • Reading

That said, not all of these are considered illegal. Therefore, you won’t be fined for committing most of these distracted driving mistakes. 

However, now that you’re aware of it, avoid all these because the biggest penalty is getting hurt or hurting someone in an accident. 

Distracted Driving Laws in Arkansas

As we mentioned, since cellphones and handheld devices are the most common distraction, the state put a “no texting while driving law”.

And today, Arkansas distracted driving laws have recently expanded their definition to include any sort of “wireless interactive communication.” 

Before, texting was the only illegal thing you could do while driving on the road. Now, things such as emailing, playing games, browsing, and engaging in social media are all illegal, too. 

Arkansas also prohibits the following:

  • Handheld cell phone use in school zones and highway work zones
  • Handheld cell phone use by drivers under 18
  • Handheld cell phone use by school bus drivers 
  • Any sort of wireless interactive communication

Exceptions of Distracted Driving in Arkansas

Now, you might be wondering:

Are there exceptions to Arkansas distracted driving laws? 

And the answer is yes. 

There are a couple of exceptions to distracted driving laws, including: 

  • Needing to use your phone to communicate with personnel or colleagues
  • Needing to report illegal activities to the proper authorities
  • Needing to contact the emergency hotline for assistance
  • Needing to contact the emergency hotline to prevent injury to a person or property

Penalties for Distracted Driving in Arkansas

You don’t get away scratch-free if the police or traffic enforcers catch you violating distracted driving laws. 

Here’s what you may face when you get hit with a distracted driving citation in the state: 

VIOLATIONFIRST OFFENSESECOND OFFENSE
Texting, Emailing, or Using the Internet$250$500
Using Handheld Devices While in an Active School Zone$250$500
Using Handheld Devices Under the Age of 18$250

NOTE: These fines are doubled in the event that the distracted driver is involved in an accident or collision.

FAQs

To help you understand distracted driving in Arkansas even more, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

Is it legal to send or read texts while at a red light? 

It’s perfectly fine for drivers to read texts while at a red light. However, they shouldn’t get too deeply immersed in the conversation, unless they want to get on the wrong side of traffic monitors. 

To avoid getting fined, save the texting for when you’ve arrived at your destination or when you haven’t left the driveway of your home yet. 

Does Arkansas use Primary or Secondary Enforcement for distracted driving? 

In Arkansas, both primary and secondary enforcement is used for distracted driving.

If you don’t already know what these are, here’s a brief introduction: 

Primary Enforcement – the police or traffic enforcers can pull you over any time they see you violating a state distracted driving law.

Secondary Enforcement – the police or traffic enforcers can only pull you over and cite you for distracted driving violations if you break another law along with it. 

When we say both enforcements are in place, it will depend on the police or traffic enforcer.

Can you use headphones while driving in Arkansas?

Driving with headphones is acceptable in Arkansas, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of your concentration. 

Keep the volume to a minimum and never let your mind wander away from the road. 

Can you use Bluetooth headphones while driving in Arkansas?

If you want to rock the new pair of Airpods you just got, by all means, feel free to do it. However, remember to pair it with your mobile device before getting on the road. 

You can use your Bluetooth device to listen to music or wirelessly receive calls. Volume should be kept to a minimum to avoid distractions. 

Can you eat while driving in Arkansas?

Sure. 

If you haven’t had anything to eat in over 12 hours and you’re starving, eating while on the road is OK. However, it still doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of getting into an accident when you do this. 

The truth is, eating while driving can still take your attention off the task at hand. When that happens, your risk of crashing into another vehicle rises. 

Unless you’re in a rush and you really need to scarf down your entire lunch in ten minutes, we don’t recommend eating while you drive. 

Make a stop beside the road or find a parking lot where you can finish your meal before driving. 

Will my insurance rates get affected if I get fined for distracted driving?

The most common worry that drivers have about distracted driving is whether or not it will affect their insurance rates.

And the answer to that question is, well, it depends. 

Citations don’t normally add points to your driving record. So, your insurance company shouldn’t know about any of your distracted driving cases that way. 

However, if you do get a secondary offense, this may add points to your driving record. And then your insurance company may find out about your lapses in driving. 

The more you engage in risky driving behaviors, the more the risk of your insurance rates rising increases. To avoid this, always practice safe and defensive driving. 

Final Thoughts

Most distracted driving accidents are preventable by practicing the right precautions and care. If you’re concerned about your safety and wellness on the road, staying in line with Arkansas distracted driving laws is key. 

We’ve given you everything you need to know about Arkansas distracted driving laws. It’s your responsibility now to follow these laws and make sure your concentration is always on the task at hand. 

Drive safe!

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