Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but when you are the one distracted, you often don’t realize that driver is you.
New technology in vehicles is causing us to become more distracted behind the wheel than ever before. Fifty-three percent of drivers believe if manufacturers put “infotainment” dashboards and hands-free technology in vehicles, they must be safe. And, with some state laws focusing on handheld bans, many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device. But in fact, these technologies distract our brains even long after you’ve used them.
Make no mistake: This multitasking technology is about convenience, not safety.
This chart outlines state distracted driving laws. Some localities have additional regulations. Enforcement type is also noted.
- Hand-held Cell Phone Use: 14 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibitall drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. All are primary enforcement laws—an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.
- All Cell Phone Use:No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 38 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers.
- Text Messaging:Washington was the first state to pass a texting ban in 2007. Currently, 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. All but 4 have primary enforcement. Of the 4 states without an all driver texting ban:
- 3 prohibit text messaging by novice drivers.
- 1 restricts school bus driversfrom texting.
We all enjoy the technology that comes with out cell phones, but cell phone use while driving is definitely not safe.
We at USA Insurance Companies support controls to help discourage the use of cell phones when driving. If you need to make a call or text, please pull over and stop your vehicle before doing so.
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