It Is Illegal in to Use a Hand-Held Phone While Driving in a Wisconsin Work Zone

In an effort to protect road workers, Wisconsin lawmakers made it illegal to use a hand-held phone for motorists driving in a work zone. Nonetheless, some people still use their hand-held devices even when traveling through work zones, placing workers and other motorists at risk. The Milwaukee personal injury lawyers of Mingo & Yankala, S.C. are here to help if you were injured in a work zone accident. Contact us today for a free case review.

Wisconsin Construction Zone Accident Statistics

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 1,805 construction zone crashes occurred in 2020. These crashes resulted in:

  • 16 fatalities
  • 665 injuries
  • 53 serious injuries

Dangers of Using Hand-Held Phones in Work Zones

The AAA Foundation conducted a study in which they analyzed how cell phone use affected crash risk. According to the study, drivers who are talking on the phone (even on a hands-free device) are up to four times more likely to be involved in a crash. 88% of survey participants said they believe texting or emailing while driving is a serious threat to personal safety. 66% of them said they consider it unacceptable for drivers to talk on a hand-held phone while driving, but one-third of them admitted to doing it anyway.

Hand-held phone use is a dangerous type of distracted driving, which is usually divided into three categories:

  • Visual distraction – A visual distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the roadway in front of you. A driver traveling at 60 m.p.h. who takes his or her eyes off the road for sending or reading a text , has just driven blind for the length of an entire football field.
  • Manual distraction – A manual distraction is anything that takes your hands off the steering wheel.
  • Mental distraction – A mental distraction takes your mind off the task of driving.

Hand-held cellphone use involves all three types of distractions, thereby increasing the risk of accidents. According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation,  mobile devise use is a factor in one-quarter of motor vehicle crashes nationwide.

Laws About Hand-Held Phones in Work Zones

According to the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, it’s illegal to talk on a handheld mobile device while driving in a road work zone in Wisconsin. The law also prohibits texting, navigating, or doing anything else on a handheld cell phone while driving in a work zone. The law was passed to help avoid the dangers of distracted driving for the driver, other motorists, passengers, and workers in construction zones. Violation of the law can result in a fine of $40 for the first offense and $100 for any subsequent offenses, plus court costs. It is still legal to engage in activities on a hands-free device while in work zones. Drivers are also allowed to use their cell phone to report an emergency.

Hand-held or hands-free cell phone use is banned while driving for any driver with a probationary license or instruction permit.

Contact Mingo & Yankala, S.C. Today

If you were injured in a construction zone accident in Wisconsin, the award-winning personal injury firm of Mingo & Yankala, S.C. is here to help. We assist accident victims throughout Milwaukee and beyond. Contact us today for a free and confidential case review.