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With the spread of smart phones, GPS devices and other wireless technologies, there has been a steady increase in the number of injuries and deaths related to distracted drivers in recent years. In response to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates, the federal government has pushed for stricter distracted driving laws across the country. Currently, all but one state has passed a law addressing distracted driving. The existing state laws vary, but most laws have focused on prohibiting texting while driving, and cellphone use by young or inexperienced drivers.

This page focuses specifically on distracted driving caused by cellphone use. The laws displayed here are organized by restrictions based on the type of driver (all drivers generally, inexperienced drivers, restrictions based on age and school bus drivers), restricted behaviors (hands-free, handheld), and restricted actions (calling or emailing/texting), as well as how each state enforces the law and what penalties are associated with a first-time violation.

This page displays distracted driving laws from January 1, 1996 to May 1, 2015. To explore variation in these laws click the "Start here" button below.

Related Resources

PHLR National Program Office research: State Laws Restricting Driver Use of Mobile Communications Devices: Distracted-Driving Provisions, 1992-2010” 

Network for Public Health Law: Driving Safety Resources

Did you know?

Ten years ago, 44% of U.S. states had a law regulating cellphone-use while driving. 

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