| Driving Laws Safe Driving
Male on cell phone while driving car

In 2016 alone, 3,450 fatalities resulted from car crashes involving distracted driving, such as talking or texting behind the wheel, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That’s nearly ten people per day.

Sadly, distraction ranks as one of the top three killers of drivers and passengers, along with speed and alcohol, says the National Safety Council. In response to the rise in distraction-related traffic crashes and deaths, state and local lawmakers around the country have cracked down on talking and texting on cell phones while driving. Do you know the laws in your state? Are you following them?

The Cell Phone Laws of the Land

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that as of September 2018, talking on a handheld phone while driving is banned in 16 states and the District of Columbia, while texting is banned for all drivers in 47 states and D.C. Meanwhile, the use of cell phones by new drivers is restricted in 38 states and D.C.

To improve your safety and the safety of your passengers, here’s a rundown of cell phone laws in the 10 states where Direct Auto & Life Insurance operates.

Alabama

  • Handheld-phone ban: None
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: 16-year-olds; 17-year-olds who’ve had an intermediate license for less than six months

Arkansas

  • Handheld-phone ban: Drivers 18-20; drivers in school and road work zones
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: Under 18

Florida

  • Handheld-phone ban: None
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: No ban

Georgia

  • Handheld-phone ban: All drivers
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: Under 18

Mississippi

  • Handheld-phone ban: None
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: None

North Carolina

  • Handheld-phone ban: None
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: Under 18

South Carolina

  • Handheld-phone ban: None
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: None

Tennessee

  • Handheld phones: Drivers in marked school zones
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: Holders of learner’s permits and intermediate licenses

Texas

  • Handheld phones: Drivers in school-crossing zones and on public school property when reduced speed limits are enforced
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: Under 18

Virginia

  • Handheld phones: Drivers in road work zones
  • Texting ban: All drivers
  • Cellphone ban for young drivers: Under 18

Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina are among the states that prohibit local governments from passing their own distracted-driving bans, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Florida cell phone law is undergoing review by state legislators to raise the consequences of using a cell phone while driving.

Stay Distraction-Free on the Road

No matter where you live or travel, it’s always wise to obey state laws about texting and talking while driving. Here are five tips from the NHTSA to ensure you stay on the right track when it comes to distracted driving.

  1. Turn off your cell phone and put it out of reach—perhaps even in the trunk—before you begin to drive.
  2. Set a good example for younger drivers by not talking or texting behind the wheel.
  3. If you’re a parent of a teen, have a talk with him or her about responsible driving (and take a look at these house rules for new drivers).
  4. Speak up when you’re a passenger and the driver is using their cell phone while driving. Offer to handle a call or text message for the driver so that he or she is entirely focused on the road.
  5. Always wear your seatbelt so that you can improve the odds of surviving a distraction-related crash.

We know how tough it can be to go without your cell phone for even a few minutes, but resist the urge to talk or text while behind the wheel! A ticket will cost you, while a distraction-related crash could affect you forever.

Saving money and saving lives—could there be a better combo? You could save up to 10% on your car insurance if you’ve been violation- and accident-free for the past 36 months. Call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732), click to get a quote online, or come into a Direct Auto location near you today to learn more!

Comments

comments