Is Zooming While Driving Illegal in North Carolina?
The pandemic changed the way people work. Working from home became popular and even after the pandemic, many employees still telecommute, at least for part of their workweek. Remote meetings gained in popularity and are still a common way to conduct business. Remote meetings can save time and money and are an excellent way for businesses to improve productivity. Unfortunately, the uptick in Zoom meetings has created a potential problem on the roads. Participating in a Zoom meeting while behind the wheel can be dangerous and may result in serious accidents.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conference platform that provides the ability for online meetings. Participants may each have their own live feed that appears on the screen. Participants can see each other in real time throughout the meeting. Zoom uses video, audio, phone, and chat to connect meeting participants. It is often used for virtual meetings and video and audio conferences. Zoom typically utilizes an internet connection, which may sometimes be accomplished through your cell phone, tablet, or computer.
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Cell Phone Laws
North Carolina cell phone laws prohibit some types of cell phone use. Specifically, you cannot use any kind of handheld electronic device while driving to text or use email. Drivers over the age of 18 can use hands free devices while behind the wheel. Drivers who are under the age of 18 are prohibited from any type of cell phone use. The laws are in place to reduce the incidence of distracted driving. Police can cite you for cell phone use if you are found to be using your device without hands free mode.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving occurs when a driver does anything that distracts them from the task of driving. Distracted driving takes three primary forms: taking your mind off driving, taking your eyes off the road, and taking your hands off the wheel. Some common forms of distracted driving are using a cell phone, eating, and fiddling with the radio or GPS for example.
The law does not currently specify that a Zoom meeting while driving is illegal. However, taking part in a Zoom meeting while you are driving could be considered a form of distracted driving.
Prevent Zooming While Driving
Zoom meetings require your attention. When you are driving, you cannot fully take part in a meeting and drive safely. If you are going to be involved in a Zoom meeting, make sure that you make time to participate at your office or home. If you are going to be on the road, pull over to a nearby lot and park your car for the duration of the meeting.
It may be possible for an employer to be held responsible for an accident that occurs when an employee is zooming while driving. Employers should be aware of the location of employees for the meeting and schedule Zoom conferences during regular working hours. Remember that taking part in a Zoom meeting could put you and others at risk if you are driving simultaneously. Contact our legal team for more information at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a consultation.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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