Can you talk on the phone while you drive in New York?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2022 | Traffic Violations

You are well aware that texting and driving is dangerous and illegal. You’ve seen plenty of stories about it causing accidents and you know that the laws were updated to prohibit drivers from sending or reading texts in the car.

But what if you simply want to talk to someone on the phone? You’re still going to be looking at the road, so you assume this is much safer than looking down and texting. But are you allowed to do it? If you get a phone call while you’re driving, can you take it? If you’re going to be late for work, can you call your boss and tell them?

Only with a hands-free device

The key thing to remember here is that the way that you make the call is important. If you use a hands-free device so that you can still hold the wheel and look at the road while you talk, then you may be able to take a call.

However, if you’re planning to hold the phone in your hand and talk on it, as many people do, then you are in violation of New York’s driving codes. Anything that requires you to hold the device is off-limits. This doesn’t just mean texting or talking, either. You’re not allowed to take videos, take pictures, check your email, go on social media or do anything else that requires manual input to the phone. All you can do is use Bluetooth or a similar system to connect it to your car and use it as a hands-free device.

What options do you have?

If you find yourself facing serious ramifications for making the mistake of holding your phone in the car, then it’s important to know about all the legal options you have. 

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