Welcome to the most comprehensive resource on Distracted Driving available on the Internet. Whether you are researching Distracted Driving for a paper, want to make a point to an organization or are looking for data and resources, along with the current laws for all 50 states, now you only have to go to one place.
Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.
Distracted driving means the driver is doing something that takes their attention away from the road. There are three categories of distracted driving:
Cognitive distraction means you're paying attention to something other than driving.
Visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes off the road.
Manual distraction is when you remove your hands from the steering wheel.
It may sound like it isn't a big deal but the fact of the matter is that distracted driving accidents injure over 1,000 people every day in the U.S. and kills about nine more.
If you think this doesn't apply to you because you never text while driving, think again. Although texting is one of the biggest factors in distracted driving there are other simple things you may do each day that also fall into the one of the distracted driving categories. Here are some examples:
Distracted Driving Laws
Goal toward zero deaths in a 25-year period.
Current legislation and determination of what constitutes distracted driving
No limit on cell use but a hefty fine for texting and driving.
No statewide ban, but teens cannot text and drive and Tucson passed a hands-free law.
As of 2017. no texting and driving, includes all hands-on usage of a phone while driving
No handheld use of a phone, except for a single swipe or tap. Anything more subject to fine.
Colorado increased the penalty for texting and driving and drivers under 18 cannot use a phone and drive under any circumstance.
Link to all of Connecticut's laws and resources regarding distracted driving.
Hands-free law is strict and they ban handheld cell use altogether along with a complete texting ban.
Texting while driving is illegal in Florida and they have a 'Put it Down' campaign to raise awareness of DD.
Teens cannot use phones at all and there is a no-texting law in Georgia.
Since 2010, Hawaiian drivers cannot use a handheld device even at a stop sign or stoplight.
Idaho has a ban on texting while driving.
Illinois law prohibits the use of hand-held cellphones. Drivers 19 and over can use Bluetooth.
Indiana drivers face fines of $500 for typing, transmitting or reading texts or emails.
Starting in 2017, legislation got more specific and prohibited not just texts but all handheld use of phone while driving
Currently, Kansas prohibits texting and driving, with more specific bills in the legislature right now.
Texting and driving is illegal for all drivers, and teen drivers cannot use the handheld device while the car is in motion.
Texting and driving is illegal, and all cell phone use in a school zone is also prohibited.
All handheld use is banned, and hands-free devices are allowed for everyone except young drivers.
All handheld use is banned, from talking to texting to emailing. All fully licensed residents can use hands-free.
Massachusetts bans texting and limits cell phone use while driving, and has new restrictions for older drivers.
Michigan does not have any statewide restriction on using a cell phone while operating a vehicle.
If your device is permanently affixed to the dash, you can use it, but otherwise all use is banned.
Novice drivers are prohibited from texting and driving and they give tips to prevent distracted driving.
Texting and driving is not allowed in Missouri and some cities do not allow any cell phone use.
Several cities have a ban on texting and driving, but a partial statewide ban has yet to pass.
Nebraska has an all-driver texting and driving ban.
Texting, accessing the internet and hand-held cell phone use while driving are against the law in Nevada effective Oct. 1, 2011.
New Hampshire prohibits texting and driving and all use of mobile electronic devices while driving.
Drivers in New Jersey cannot talk or listen to another person, or text using a handheld device.
All texting and driving is banned in New Mexico.
All drivers cannot use mobile electronic devices for talking, texting, playing games unless hands-free or face license suspension plus fines.
Drivers cannot text or read emails while driving in North Carolina.
Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers, and all phone usage is prohibited for teen drivers.
Ohio has a no texting while driving ban, and younger drivers cannot use their phones for any reason.
Oklahoma has a texting and driving ban in effect since 2015, with $100 fine.
Oregon has strict laws, saying you cannot even hold your phone while driving, even at a stoplight.
Drivers cannot send or receive texts while the car is in motion.
Rhode Island has a law prohibiting texting and driving while the car is in motion.
You cannot use a wireless electronic device while driving in South Carolina.
South Dakota prohibits texting and driving as a secondary offense, with a $100 fine.
Texting and driving a vehicle in Tennesee is illegal.
Sending and receiving texts is illegal in Texas.
Drivers cannot use a handheld communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
Vermont's laws prohibit use of handheld electronic devices while driving or stopped.
Virginia does not allow texting or reading an email and driving, with no restrictions while stopped.
Washington's law goes beyond banning simply texting and includes anything that can interfere with operating a motor vehicle.
Handheld use is prohibited while operating a motor vehicle except when pulled over to the side of the road.
Texting and driving is illegal for all drivers, while handheld and hands-free use is illegal for all junior drivers.
Officers can pull over and ticket anyone suspected of texting and driving in Wyoming.
Prohibits use of handheld electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.
Apps to Help Prevent Distracted Driving
DriveMode app for iPhone and Android starts when car moves more than 15 mph and silences text alerts
Android-only app sends calls right to voicemail and silences email and text alerts when car reaches 10mph.
Driving Mode mutes incoming messages, you can set up auto-replies and whitelist certain contacts.
IPhone only app for training drivers to not use devices while driving, and parents can get a report of how the kids did.
Drive, earn and play with this fun app that makes a game out of NOT being on your phone while driving.
MessageLOUD is available for both iOS and Android and it reads emails and texts out loud for you.
Allows parents to block texts from coming through to their kids' phones while they are on the road and set up no-cell zones to eliminate distractions.
Groove seeks to make distracted driving an unacceptable behavior by storing messages and calls in the cloud and only sending through once parked.
Organizations that Promote Distraction Free Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association is dedicated to making roads safer through information.
The National Safety Council explains their initiative on stopping distracted driving.
Governors Highway Safety Association has a website detailing distracted driving news and laws.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a wealth of information about distracted driving along with laws in every state.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention information about distracted driving in the U.S.
The American Automobile Association has a study on distracted driving among older adults.
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute researches key transportation topics, among them distracted driving.
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research publications on driver, passenger, pedestrian safety, vehicle design and infrastructure.
NHTSA communications resource for states, partner organizations, and highway safety professionals
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center gives data and resources on crash statistics and how to be safer on the road.
The Every Second Matters initiative from Travelers Institute challenges drivers to set a positive example and eliminate distracted driving.
Distracted Driving Foundation lobbies cell phone companies to create better display intensive use of phones while driving.
Drop it and Drive is a Traffic Injury Research Foundation education program for preventing distraction-related road fatalities.
Loyola University Health System's Distracted Driving prevention tips
Teen Distracted Driving Prevention
Teen driving resource sponsored by Toyota to encourage keeping teens safe behind the wheel.
End Distracted Driving is an association created in honor of Casey Feldman and has resources for educators and parents to end DD.
California non-profit committed to ending distracted driving among teen drivers.
The Parent Supervised Driving Program seeks to help teens during the learner’s permit period through education.
Teen Driver Source from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has resources for parents and educators.
Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving
While reading and sending text messages is the biggest culprit for distracted driving there are other habits you can identify and break in order to become a more focused driver. Here are some tips to help prevent distracted driving regardless of your age:
Plan ahead. Set your GPS, turn off your phone and any other electronics, and set your mind on your trip before you get on the road.
Make any needed adjustments to your mirrors, seat, heat or air conditioning, and any other vehicle systems before you put your car in gear.
Skip the food and drinks if at all possible; if you're on a long trip and have to eat stick to neat snacks instead of messy meals.
Make sure your kids and pets are secure before you leave. If you have to attend to them pull off the road first.
Do your personal grooming before you get into the car. If you have to brush your hair or remove your jacket pull over and park.
Stash any loose gear such as a handbag or briefcase before you leave the driveway. Check your vehicle for anything that might roll off a seat or console and secure it before you leave.
If you have passengers that tend to distract you feel free to politely tell them you need to focus on your driving.
Remember, anything that takes your attention from the role of driving is a distraction. It only takes a second to have an accident, so plan ahead and pay attention!