What are the Distracted Driving Laws?

29 Aug 2018

You should already know how dangerous distracted driving is and the lives it can cost. But, are you familiar with your own state’s laws on distracted driving?

Distracted driving is a top cause of accidents that lead to injuries and death. States all over the country are implementing laws to target distracted driving habits. Fleet managers as well as implementing GPS fleet tracking systems to identify behaviors, like speeding and hard braking, that could indicate distracted driving.

Here are some examples of different states and their laws concerning distracted driving, which may change and be revised over time.

Examples of State Laws

Alabama

In Alabama, it’s prohibited that you text while you’re driving. Drivers aged 16 and 17 who have intermediate licenses they’ve carried less than six months can’t use a handheld communication device while they’re driving. In Montgomery, it’s prohibited to use a handheld cell phone.

California

While you’re driving a motor vehicle, it’s illegal to use a cell phone unless it’s being used in hands-free mode. Individuals who are under 18 years old can’t drive and use a wireless communication device, including, but not limited to:

  • A two-way messaging device
  • A broadband personal communication device
  • A laptop computer
  • A pager

Drivers can’t use a wireless communication device to read, send or write text messages while they’re driving. Drivers of school buses can’t use cell phones.

Connecticut

Nobody is allowed to use a hand-held phone or text message while driving. Those under 18 years of age are subject to a complete mobile electronic device and cell phone use ban while driving.

Connecticut also enforces a distracted driving general law that prohibits drivers from engaging in activities that aren’t related to operating the motor vehicle that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle. Drivers of school buses can’t use cell phones while driving unless it’s for an emergency.

Florida

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving — a secondary offense.

It’s permitted to use a cell phone with a headset while you’re driving if you can still hear sound from one ear and you can hear surrounding sounds with the other ear.

Minnesota

Drivers can’t text message. Provisional license holders and permit holders who are under 18 years old are not allowed to use a cell phone while they’re driving. School bus drivers are not allowed to use cell phones while they’re driving.

Keep in mind, even if your state doesn’t have a law that directly relates to distracted driving, the act alone of driving while distracted leads to illegal driving behavior like reckless driving as well as other traffic violations. To find out the laws in your particular state, you can visit the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Sources:

http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx
https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/Distracted-Driving

Click to access DistractedDrivingLawChart_Jun18.pdf


https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/distracted-driving/
https://www.dmv.org/distracted-driving/laws.php
https://www.idrivesafely.com/driving-resources/laws/distracted-driving/
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/spotlight-distracted-driving.aspx

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