Distracted driving is defined as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including both talking or texting on your phone. In 2016 3,450 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers. Many states now have laws against texting, talking on a cell phone, and other distractions while driving.
Hand-held Cell Phone Use Ban: Sixteen states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phone while driving. Drivers are allowed to utilize hands free features via wireless or Bluetooth.
All Cell Phone Ban: No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers. However, thirty-eight states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers. Also, school and transit bus drivers have an all cell phone ban in many states.
Text Messaging Ban: Forty-seven states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has condensed all the cell phone laws by state into an easy-to-read table.
End Distracted Driving
Drive distraction free: We all know it’s not safe to text and drive, but habits can be difficult to change. Commit to driving safe and come up with a plan to keep on track. A great way to make sure you are staying on track is by telling those closest to you to help keep you accountable.
Friends don’t let friends drive distracted: Just as you may ask your friends of a family member to keep you accountable, do the same for them.
Talk to your kids: One of the best things you can do is lead by example. Adults are just as guilty as teens when it comes to driving distracted. It is also important is have discussions with new drivers both during and after the learning process.