According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project survey, 34% of American teens who own a cell phone admitted to texting while driving, and 52% of cellphone-owning teens ages 16-17 say they have talked on their phone while driving.

How much does using a cell phone while driving increase your risk of having an accident?

Texting is undoubtedly the riskiest cell phone-related activity. When you respond to a text, your attention is distracted for around five seconds. It increases the time spent looking away from the road by 400%. Edgar Synder & Associates law firm reports that texting while driving is six times more likely to increase the risk of having an accident than drunk driving.

What is the punishment for using a cell phone while driving?

The laws governing cell phone use while driving vary depending on where you live. Some states only forbid using hand-held phones while driving if the driver is a specific age, while others forbid it for everyone. In particular, the punishment for using a cell phone while driving involves fines. The fines can range from $25 to $500 depending if it’s an individual’s first or subsequent offense. Some states also suspend driving licenses or impose jail times.

For more details about the amount of fine for each state, you may view this table from Jerry Insurance Agency.

How can you best limit cell phone distractions while driving?

It is important to remember that cell phone distractions are dangerous when you’re driving. Even if you’re just using your phone for hands-free calling, you’re still at risk of making a mistake that could lead to a crash. There are several ways to limit your cell phone distractions while driving.

  1. Choose the “do not disturb” mode on your phone – The distraction caused by having a phone in the vehicle can be lessened by limiting the number of incoming texts and calls. You can do this through the “do not disturb while driving” option on many phones. It can limit the calls and texts you get based on your preferences.
  2. Utilize a phone-friendly in-dash system – Using such a device can reduce the risk associated with using a phone while driving and enhance your entire driving experience. These capabilities replicate the phone features you’re accustomed to and display them on a car’s sizable infotainment screen. By utilizing these qualities, the interface is made simpler with larger buttons that are simpler to view and operate than a small phone screen. This effectively compares using your phone to a car’s radio or built-in navigation system.
  3. Focus your attention on the road – Put driving first in your priorities. Don’t try to use your phone when you need to concentrate on something else, even if you only want to use voice commands or occasionally click a button or two. Just don’t do it. Simply ignore your phone. Nothing can be so urgent that it’s worth putting your life and those of your passengers at risk. If you can’t handle the temptation to look at messages straight away, then get in the habit of simply turning your phone off while driving.

What states have banned cell phone use while driving?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, here is a list of states across the USA that have banned handheld cell phone use while driving:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Lousiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennesse
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia 
  • Wisconsin

You may access this table for detailed information on additional regulations and enforcement types.

What does driving mode mean on a cell phone?

There are many different driving modes that you can choose from when using a cell phone while driving. An iPhone setting called Driving Focus lets you drive without being distracted. Text messages and other notifications are either disabled or limited while Driving Mode is on. Only when your iPhone is connected to CarPlay, a vehicle’s Bluetooth system, or a hands-free accessory can incoming calls be allowed through, but they will come through your car’s hand’s free system. You can also ask Siri to read any incoming text messages to you so that you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

On the other hand, starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode is available in cars. It uses big cards—customizable squares and rectangles—to display data from different apps and access features like calling and texting. The driving mode also accepts voice requests and uses Google Assistant to read text aloud if you’d rather keep your eyes on the road at all times.

How many people die because of cell phone use while driving?

Using a cell phone while driving greatly increases the risk of fatalities and serious injuries on American roads. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes yearly, and 390,000 injuries are caused yearly by texting and driving. A quarter of all car accidents in the US are thought to be caused by texting and driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 3,142 fatal car accidents in 2020.