Distracted Driving

Distracted Driver

GHSA Policy

Click here to view GHSA's Policies and Priorities on Distracted Driving.

Driver distraction is a contributing factor in many crashes. In 2016, distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,450 people (9.2 percent of all fatalities),1 although many instances may go unreported.

Cell phone use and texting while driving are two of the most common distractions. Many states and local jurisdictions have passed laws that address these behaviorsGHSA's message to all drivers remains: don't use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, regardless of the current law. A list of tips for managing driver distraction is available here.

GHSA recommends states ban hand-held cell phone use for all drivers. While texting and hand-held bans are both critical, texting bans by themselves can be difficult to enforce. In states with texting but not hand-held bans, a driver may claim they were dialing a phone number when stopped by a police officer. Enforcement demonstration projects in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and California have shown that hand-held cell phone bans can be enforced effectively and can reduce driver use of a cell phone.

The It Can Wait® Campaign

GHSA supports the It Can Wait campaign. Spearheaded by AT&T, the campaign shares a simple message: distracted driving is never OK. 

It Can Wait works to save lives by calling on the public, law enforcement, educators, corporations, consumer safety groups and legislators to help find solutions to prevent texting, using social media, web surfing, video chatting and other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. Since 2010, the campaign has collected more than 20 million pledges from individuals committing to never drive distracted. Learn More

1 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, October). 2016 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 456). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812456

News tagged with Distracted Driving

Facts & Figures

42% of Drivers Admit to Texting
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Laws

15 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. 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. Currently, 47 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.

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