Cell phone use is at an all-time high in the U.S., with an estimate 91 percent of all Americans using a cellular device. Although cell phones have certainly made communication easier, they have proven to be distractions to motorists on the roads. In fact, cell phones have become such a problem, that several states are cracking down on cell phone use while driving — limiting use, or even banning it altogether.
Reasons Why More States are Implementing Cell Phone Laws
Nearly one in five accidents are caused by distractions, and according to researchers at the University of Utah, drivers are equally as impaired as drunk drivers when using a handheld device. Unfortunately, many of those drivers are responsible for roadway accidents that cause traffic fatalities. More than 3,000 people are killed every year in the U.S. due to distracted drivers. State by state, more and more laws are being passed to prevent these deaths from occurring.
All types of cell phone use are proven to be distracting, although some types are worse than others. Texting while driving for example, is by far the most dangerous, increasing the chances of collision 23 times. Similarly, talking while holding a cellular device is worse than using a hands-free device, although both are considered dangerous.
Laws by State
Cell phone laws are different in every state. As of July 2012, there are still no states that implement a complete ban on cell phone use while driving, although 10 states ban all use of hand-held devices. States seem to take text messaging more seriously, however, as 39 states prevent drivers from sending or receiving text messages while driving. Still, other states only place restrictions on certain types of drivers, such as school bus drivers or motorists under the age of 20.