Texting while driving isn’t expressly illegal, but it’s still not safe

By Product Expert | Posted in Tips & Tricks on Monday, December 17th, 2018 at 2:49 pm
A stock photo of a person using their phone while driving.

Is it illegal to text and drive in Tennessee?

One of our favorite features to show new Gwatney Mazda of Germantown customers is the outstanding connectivity technology offered by many new Mazda sedans and crossover SUVs. The feature that seems to impress the most people is how easy it is to connect today’s most popular smartphones to the MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system. After we show how easy this is, the first question that is usually asked is, ‘Is it illegal to text and drive in Tennessee?’ Unfortunately, the answer is both yes and no. Under a state law passed nearly 10 years ago, a driver (who doesn’t have graduated or probationary license) can send or receive a text message, as long as the vehicle isn’t in motion. Let’s take a look at other information you might find useful.

READ MORE: Can I upgrade my Mazda vehicle with Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™?

What does this mean?

In order to put this in the simplest terms possible, let’s take a look at an example. You can send and receive a text message or email if your vehicle isn’t moving – such as at a red light. However, if a police officer witnesses someone using their phone for something other than talking, they can receive a $50 ticket.

This prohibition on using a cell phone while the vehicle is in motion doesn’t apply to other devices like GPS receivers or music players.

While this may sound like a fairly lax law, drivers could otherwise be using their phone within the limits of the statute described above, but still end up getting into trouble. If someone is talking on the phone (which is ok), but you cross the centerline or create some other kind of hazard, they could be cited or arrested for reckless driving.

Avoid problems

Now that Mazda vehicles are compatible with smartphone apps for most Android and Apple phones, there is no excuse for not taking advantage of the tools you have available. By simply pairing a compatible smartphone to your vehicle’s infotainment system, you will be able to make and receive calls, texts and emails – all without taking your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.

You can schedule a demonstration of this technology today by making an appointment with Gwatney Mazda of Germantown product expert today.

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