Nearly 50,000 car accidents take place every year in Rhode Island, most of which are entirely preventable. It only takes a moment of inattention to cause a severe or even fatal crash, and despite numerous safety laws, distracted driving accidents continue to claim countless lives nationwide. 

Distracted driving accidents

When a Driver Is Distracted by Electronics

Use of cellphones and tablets while driving isn’t just dangerous—it’s also Illegal in Rhode Island. State law prohibits use of any handheld mobile electronic devices behind the wheel. If a driver is under 18, they are forbidden to use any mobile electronic device regardless of hands-free capability. These laws apply when the car is in motion or when the car is idle (including stopped at intersections or red lights).

Electronics continue to be a factor in preventable crashes, including:


If a police officer sees you holding a phone for any reason while driving, you can be pulled over and fined up to $100. Common illegal activities include texting, taking selfies, playing games, reading the news, using chat apps, or checking email. While drivers are allowed to make and take calls on cellphones using hands-free systems, voice-only phone calls can still be a distraction and should be kept to a minimum.


Many people rely on a phone’s GPS system to guide them through unfamiliar areas. However, these interactive maps can also cause distractions if you are looking down at the screen instead of the road ahead.


Under Rhode Island laws, no television, screen, or other means of visual media may be located in the driver’s field of view. Drivers are also forbidden to use headphones or earbuds that cover both ears. Despite these laws, some drivers use their iPads and tablets to read, watch videos, play games, or even attend video calls and meetings while driving.

Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help accident victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.
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