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Mobile phones and driving safety

A New York driver using two hand-held mobile phones at once

Mobile phone use while driving is common, but it is widely considered dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving and accidents. Due to the number of accidents that are related to conducting calls on a phone and texting while driving, some jurisdictions have made the use of calling on a phone while driving illegal. Many jurisdictions have enacted laws to ban handheld mobile phone use. Nevertheless, many jurisdictions allow use of a hands-free device. Driving while using a hands-free device is not safer than using a handheld phone to conduct calls, as concluded by case-crossover studies,[1][2] epidemiological,[3][4] simulation,[5] and meta-analysis.[6][7] In some cases restrictions are directed only at minors, those who are newly qualified license holders (of any age), or to drivers in school zones. In addition to voice calling, activities such as texting while driving, web browsing, playing video games, or phone use in general can also increase the risk of an accident.

In the United States, automobile crashes due to distracted driving are increasing.  The leading cause to distracted driving is cell phones.[8]  While most people seem to be cognizant of the risks of using a cell phone while driving, they still continue to take the risk.  What will it take to get people to stop using their cell phones while driving?  Cell phones have become a common part of everyday life and some people struggle to put their cell phones down, even while driving.  

In 2015, six hundred and sixty thousand drivers in the United States were estimated to use cell phones each day, while driving behind the wheel during daylight hours. Cell phone use while driving has become a leading cause of vehicle accidents over the last two decades.[9]  Using a cell phone while driving increases the driver’s risk of causing an accident.  Drivers are distracted, decreasing the driver’s awareness on the road, leading to more car accidents.  When drivers talk on cell phones the risk of an automobile accident resulting in hospitalization is four times higher when not talking on a cell phone [10][2]. Drivers who text when behind the wheel, are twenty-three times more likely to have an automobile accident.[11] One out of every four automobile accidents in the United States are caused by texting while driving.[12] Some states have implemented laws in regards to using cell phones while driving, there is more to be done.

Studies[edit]

Prevalence[edit]

Various laws/regulations in relation to mobile phone use whilst driving worldwide
A driver using a cellphone

The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), the provincial automobile insurance association in Quebec, conducted a study on driving and cellphones in 2003. Questionnaires were sent to 175,000 drivers and analysis was done on the 36,078 who responded. The questionnaire asked about driving habits, risk exposure, collisions over the past 24 months, socio-demographic information, and cell phone use. Questionnaires were supported with data from cell phone companies and accident records held by police. The study found that the overall relative risk (RR) of having an accident for cell phone users when compared to non-cell phone users averaged 1.38 across all groups. When adjusted for distance driven per year and other crash risk exposures, RR was 1.11 for men and 1.21 for women. They also found that increased cell phone use correlated with an increase in RR. When the same data were reanalyzed using a Bayesian approach, the calculated RR of 0.78 for those making less than 1 call/day and 2.27 for those with more than 7 calls/day was similar to cohort analysis. When the data were reanalyzed using case-crossover analysis, RR was calculated at a much higher 5.13. The authors expressed concern that misclassification of phone calls due to reporting errors of the exact time of the collisions was a major source of bias with all case-crossover analysis of this issue.[3][4][13]

In March 2011 a US insurance company, State Farm Insurance, announced the results of a study which showed 19% of drivers surveyed accessed the Internet on a smart phone while driving.[14] In September 2010, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report on distracted driving fatalities for 2009. The NHTSA considers distracted driving to include some of the following as distractions: other occupants in the car, eating, drinking, smoking, adjusting radio, adjusting environmental control, reaching for object in car, and cell phone use. In 2009 in the US, there was a reported 5,474 people killed by distracted drivers. Of those 995 were considered to be killed by drivers distracted by cell phones. The report doesn't state whether this under or over represents the level of cell phone use amongst drivers, and whether there is a causal relationship.[15]

A 2003 study of US crash data states that driver inattention is estimated to be a factor in 20% to 50% of all police-reported crashes. Driver distraction, a sub-category of inattention, has been estimated to be a contributing factor in 8% to 13% of all crashes. Of distraction-related accidents, cell phone use may range from 1.5 to 5% of contributing factors.[16] However, large unknowns in each category may increase the inaccuracy of these estimates. A 2001 study sponsored by the American Automobile Association recorded "Unknown Driver Attention Status" for 41.5% of crashes, and "Unknown Distraction" in 8.6% of all distraction related accidents.[17] According to NHTSA, "There is clearly inadequate reporting of crashes".[18]

Currently, being distracted by an "outside person, object, event" (commonly known as "rubbernecking") is the most reported cause of distraction-related accidents, followed by "adjusting radio/cassette/CD". "Using/dialing cell phone" is eighth. A 2003 study by the University of Utah psychology department measured response time, following distance, and driving speed of a control group, subjects at the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of 0.08%, and subjects involved in cell phone conversations. As the study notes; "... this is the third in a series of studies that we have conducted evaluating the effects of cell phone use on driving using the car following procedure (see also Strayer & Drews, 2004; and Strayer et al., 2003). Across these three studies, 120 participants performed in both baseline and cell phone conditions. Two of the participants in our studies were involved in an accident in baseline conditions, whereas 10 participants were involved in an accident when they were conversing on a cell phone." However, no drunk driver had an accident in any test. After controlling for driving difficulty and time on task, the study concluded that cell phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than drunk drivers.[5]

Meta-analyses[edit]

A 2005 review by the Hawaii House of Representatives entitled "Cell Phone Use and Motor Vehicle Collisions: A Review of the Studies" contains an analysis of studies on cell phone/motor vehicle accident causality. A key finding was that: "No studies were found that directly address and resolve the issue of whether a causal relation exists between cellular telephone use while operating a motor vehicle and motor vehicle collisions."[19] Meta-analysis by the Canadian Automobile Association[6] and the University of Illinois[7] found that response time while using both hands-free and hand-held phones was approximately 0.5 standard deviations higher than normal driving (i.e. an average driver, while talking on a cell phone, has response times of a driver in roughly the 40th percentile).

Arguments from increase in mobile subscription[edit]

Hands-free car kit

In the US, the number of cell phone subscribers has increased by 1,262.4% between the years 1985-2008. In approximately the same period the number of crashes has fallen by 0.9% (1995–2009) and the number of fatal crashes fallen by 6.2%.[20][21][22] It has been argued that these statistics contradict the claims that mobile use impairs driving performance.[23] Similarly, a 2010 study from the Highway Loss Data Institute published in February 2010 reviewed auto claims from three key states along with Washington D.C. prior to cell phone bans while driving and then after. The study found no reduction in crashes, despite a 41% to 76% reduction in the use of cell phones while driving after the ban was enacted.[24][25][26]

Handsfree device[edit]

Driving while using a handsfree cellular device is not safer than using a hand held cell phone, as concluded by case-crossover studies,[1][2] epidemiological,[3][4] simulation,[5] and meta-analysis.[6][7] The increased cognitive workload involved in holding a conversation, not the use of hands, causes the increased risk.[27][28][29] For example, a Carnegie Mellon University study found that merely listening to somebody speak on a phone caused a 37% drop in activity in the parietal lobe, where spatial tasks are managed.[30] The consistency of increased crash risk between hands-free and hand held cell phone use is at odds with legislation in many locations that prohibits hand held cell phone use but allows hands-free.

Effectiveness of bans/restrictions on mobile phones[edit]

In a number of cases it has been shown that bans on mobile use while driving have proven to be an effective way to deter people from picking up their phones. Those violating the ban usually face fines and points on their licence. Although an initial decrease/alteration in driving habits is to be expected. As time goes on the number of people breaking these laws/regulations eventually goes back to normal, sometimes higher levels as time goes on and people go back to their old habits.

The United Kingdom[edit]

In the UK using a mobile phone while driving has been illegal since 2003, unless it is in a handsfree kit.[31] The penalty originally started with a £30 ($40) fine which later became a fine of £60 ($80) plus 3 penalty points in 2006, then £100 ($134) and 3 points in 2013.[32] There was a tendency for motorists behaving and becoming significantly more compliant initially with the introduction of the updated laws, only to later to resume their ordinary habits. The 2013 fine increase was not at all effective at stopping motorists from using their phones while driving. The percentage of drivers admitting to using their phones while on the road actually increased from 8% in 2014 to 31% in 2016 an increase of 23% in just two years.[33] In the same year statistics revealed that only 30,000 drivers were given a Fixed penalty notice (FPN) for the offence, compared to 123,000 in 2011.[34] The increased percentage of people using their phones can be attributed in part to the growing affordability of smartphones. Possibly the most important factor was the increasing lack of enforcement of the ban by the police. Both increased smartphone sales and lack of enforcement created a situation where in which it was acceptable to use your phone while driving again, yet having being illegal for over 13 years.[35]

Stricter fines and penalties[edit]

In 2017 the Department of transport (DfT) decided to increase the penalties to a £200 ($268) fine with 6 penalty points as a result of the growing acceptance of phone use while driving.[36] This would mean that motorists who perhaps already had 6 points on their driving licence, would be disqualified from driving for 6 months if caught. The biggest detriment would be for newly qualified drivers who have passed their driving tests within the last two years.[37] New drivers have conditions on their licence for two years after passing their test in the UK, with the most significant being that if they gain 6 penalty points on their licence they have to fully retake their driving test. Licence holders after 2 years have 12 points until licence disqualification in most circumstances rather than a ban/retest.[38] The decision to make the penalty 6 points rather than 4 or 5 was likely made to deter young/new drivers from using their phones while driving, as they were observed to be one of the largest age groups committing the offence . A year after the stricter law came in, a smaller 23% of motorists had admitted to using a phones while driving, an 8% reduction compared to 2 years ago.[39] Studies will continue to monitor whether or not this habit persist among motorists as it has done throughout the past, while the British government aims to make picking up your phone as socially unacceptable as drink driving.[40]

Comparisons with passenger conversations[edit]

The scientific literature is mixed on the dangers of talking on a cell phone versus those of talking with a passenger. The common conception is that passengers are able to better regulate conversation based on the perceived level of danger, therefore the risk is negligible. A study by a University of South Carolina psychology researcher featured in the journal, Experimental Psychology, found that planning to speak and speaking put far more demands on the brain’s resources than listening. Measurement of attention levels showed that subjects were four times more distracted while preparing to speak or speaking than when they were listening.[41] The Accident Research Unit at the University of Nottingham found that the number of utterances was usually higher for mobile calls when compared to blindfolded and non-blindfolded passengers across various driving conditions. The number of questions asked averaged slightly higher for mobile phone conversations, although results were not constant across road types and largely influenced by a large number of questions on the urban roads.[42]

A 2004 simulation study that compared passenger and cell-phone conversations concluded that the driver performs better when conversing with a passenger because the traffic and driving task become part of the conversation. Drivers holding conversations on cell phones were four times more likely to miss the highway exit than those with passengers, and drivers conversing with passengers showed no statistically significant difference from lone drivers in the simulator.[43] A study led by Andrew Parkes at the Transport Research Laboratory, also with a driving simulator, concluded that hands-free phone conversations impair driving performance more than other common in-vehicle distractions such as passenger conversations.[44] However, some have criticized the use of simulation studies to measure the risk of cell-phone use while driving since the studies may be impacted by the Hawthorne effect.[45] This is type of reactivity in which individuals modify or improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed.

In contrast, the University of Illinois meta-analysis concluded that passenger conversations were just as costly to driving performance as cell phone ones.[7] AAA ranks passengers as the third most reported cause of distraction-related accidents at 11%, compared to 1.5% for cellular telephones.[17] A simulation study funded by the American Transportation Research Board concluded that driving events that require urgent responses may be influenced by in-vehicle conversations, and that there is little practical evidence that passengers adjusted their conversations to changes in the traffic. It concluded that drivers' training should address the hazards of both mobile phone and passenger conversations.[46]

Texting[edit]

The scientific literature on the dangers of driving while sending a text message from a mobile phone, or texting while driving, is limited. A simulation study at the Monash University Accident Research Centre has provided strong evidence that both retrieving and, in particular, sending text messages has a detrimental effect on a number of critical driving tasks. Specifically, negative effects were seen in detecting and responding correctly to road signs, detecting hazards, time spent with eyes off the road, and (only for sending text messages) lateral position. Surprisingly, mean speed, speed variability, lateral position when receiving text messages, and following distance showed no difference.[47] A separate, yet unreleased simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related accidents when texting.[48]

The low number of scientific studies may be indicative of a general assumption that if talking on a mobile phone increases risk, then texting also increases risk, and probably more so. Market research by Pinger, a company selling a voice-based alternative to texting reported that 89% of US adults think that text messaging while driving is "distracting, dangerous and should be outlawed."[49] The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released polling data in 2009 that showed 87% of people consider texting and e-mailing while driving a "very serious" safety threat, almost equivalent to the 90% of those polled who consider drunk driving a threat. Despite the acknowledgement of the dangers of texting behind the wheel, about half of drivers 16 to 24 say they have texted while driving, compared with 22% of drivers 35 to 44.[50]

Texting while driving received greater attention in the late 2000s, corresponding to a rise in the number of text messages being sent. Over a year approximately 2,000 teens die from texting while driving.[50] Texting while driving attracted interest in the media after several highly publicized car crashes were caused by texting drivers, including a May 2009 incident involving a Boston trolley car driver who crashed while texting his girlfriend.[51] Texting was blamed in the 2008 Chatsworth train collision which killed 25 passengers. Investigations revealed that the engineer of that train had sent 45 text messages while operating.

In a 2011 study it was reported that over 90% of college students surveyed text (initiate, reply or read) while driving.[52] On July 27, 2009, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released preliminary findings of their study of driver distraction in commercial vehicles. Two studies, comprising about 200 long-haul trucks driving 3 million combined miles, used video cameras to observe the drivers and road; researchers observed "4,452 safety-critical events, which includes crashes, near crashes, crash-relevant conflicts, and unintended lane deviations." 81% of the safety critical events had some type of driver distraction. Text messaging had the greatest relative risk, with drivers being 23 times more likely to experience a safety-critical event when texting. The study also found that drivers typically take their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of four out of six seconds when texting, and an average of 4.6 out of the six seconds surrounding safety-critical events.[50]

Internet surfing[edit]

In 2013 it was reported that, according to a national survey in the US, the number of drivers who reported using their cellphones to access the internet while driving had risen to nearly one of four.[53]

Intervention[edit]

A study conducted by the University of Vienna using the theory of planned behavior identified two key determinants of high-level mobile phone use. Those two factors, subjective norm (i.e., perceived social norms) and self-identity (i.e., the degree to which individuals see mobile phones as a part of their self), might be promising targets for the development of persuasive strategies and other interventions aimed at reducing inappropriate and problematic use of mobile phones, such as using mobile phones while driving.[54]

Public Economics[edit]

Social Economic Costs[edit]

Mobile phone use while driving has economic impacts. Using a mobile phone while driving can definitely have economic costs to the driver using the phone (ex. paying for costs of collision, losing pay if late to work from distracted driving, etc.). More interesting however is how a driver's mobile phone use while driving can have external effects on both other drivers' safety and other drivers' economic property. Specifically, mobile phone use while driving produces negative consumption externalities where the consumer's (driver's) use of the phone while driving can reduce the well-being of others who are not paid by the consumer (i.e. outside the market mechanism). Mobile phone use can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, minds off the road, and hands off the steering wheel.[55] These consumer distractions can negatively affect others in many ways such as collision or even fatality due to consumer distraction, congestion on the road due to slower driving speeds because of multitasking, and tardiness of those affected by the externality because of others' distracted driving. The negative consumption externalities produced from mobile phone use while driving not only affects others on the road but also causes economic inefficiencies. Externalities are a form of market failure where, by definition, the market fails to deliver an efficient outcome.

Negative consumption externality

Figure 1 details the effects of this negative externality. In this case, the market quantity is too high where there are too many that use their mobile phone while driving. The socially optimal quantity (Q*) is thus lower than the market quantity (Q). To overcome this inefficiency, governments often must get involved and regulate price or quantity.

Legislation and Social Economic Benefits[edit]

While there is no feasible way to ensure that driver's attention remains sufficiently focused on driving, there are ways that the government can intervene legislatively to discourage drivers from engaging in behaviors that potentially distract them from driving.[55] In cases of a negative consumption externality such as mobile phone use while driving, the government will usually impose a ban by way of price burden, in this case a fine or ticket,[55] in order to reduce the market quantity to a socially optimal quantity. An illustration of this intervention can be found below (Figure 2) where, in this case, the government has the ability to fine or ticket those who use a phone while driving in order to reduce the quantity of distracted drivers on the road. As illustrated, the market quantity (Q) of distracted driver's produced by mobile phone use while driving is too high and the socially optimal point for society is lower. Thus a ticket or some sort of price burden is put in place to reduce the market quantity to the socially optimal quantity (Q*).

Ticket and negtive externality

The negative consumption externalities caused by mobile phone use while driving, as shown, has economic costs. Not only does mobile phone use while driving jeopardize safety for the driver, anyone in the car, or others on the road but it also produces economic costs to all parties involved. As shown, these costs are best managed with government intervention through policy or legislation changes. Ticketing is often the best choice as it affects only those who are caught performing the illegal act. Ticketing is another cost induced from mobile phone use and driving because ticketing laws for this act have only been put into place due to the large number of accidents caused by distracted drivers due to mobile phone use. Further, not only are the tickets costly to individuals who receive them but so is the price that must be paid to enforce the prohibition of mobile phone use while driving. Key to the success of a legislative measure is the ability to maintain and sustain them through enforcement or the perception of enforcement.[55] Police officer and photo radar cameras are other costs that must be paid in order to reduce this externality.

Social Economic Benefits[edit]

While paying tickets may be an undesired cost to pay by those who are given the ticket, ticket payments can actually have positive impacts in reducing the externality (discussed above) and increasing the total welfare of society. Ticket revenue often goes to state or local needs. For example, revenue from tickets can be used to improve local/state infrastructure and public schooling.

The effects of ticketing this negative consumption externality of mobile phone use while driving can be seen below. The graph shows the implementation of a ticket as having the same effect of a pigouvian tax.

While this is the goal of the ticket, that is, to have the same effect of a pigouvian tax which is intended to correct an inefficient market outcome, and does so by being set equal to the social cost of the negative externalities, that us usually not the case of a ticket. Tickets only affect those who receive the ticket while a tax effects all. The graphs shows ticket implementation as having the same effect as a pigouvian tax. This is the ideal revenue brought in by ticketing as that is the price burden that will bring the socially optimal quantity. While this is ideal, this is very unlikely to happen through ticketing because, with ticketing, one must factor in the probability of someone receiving the ticket and multiple that probability by the price. The graph does not show this theoretical situation because the data of how often tickets are given for mobile phone use while driving is not conclusive.

While ticketing can be tricky to apply, the revenue brought in by ticket is a benefit to society as it can be used for local and state needs and will help reduce the externality.

Legislation[edit]

A sign along Bellaire Boulevard in Southside Place, Texas (Greater Houston) states that using mobile phones while driving is prohibited from 7:30 am to 9:30 am and from 2:00 pm to 4:15 pm.

Accidents involving a driver being distracted by talking on a mobile phone have begun to be prosecuted as negligence similar to speeding. In the United Kingdom, from 1 March 2017, motorists who are caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving will have six penalty points added to their license in addition to the fine of £200.[56] This increase was introduced to try to stem the increase in drivers ignoring the law.[57] Japan prohibits all mobile phone use while driving, including use of hands-free devices. New Zealand has banned hand held cellphone use since 1 November 2009. Many states in the United States have banned texting on cell phones while driving. Illinois became the 17th American state to enforce this law.[58] As of July 2010, 30 states had banned texting while driving, with Kentucky becoming the most recent addition on July 15.[59]

Public Health Law Research maintains a list of distracted driving laws in the United States. This database of laws provides a comprehensive view of the provisions of laws that restrict the use of mobile communication devices while driving for all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1992, when first law was passed, through December 1, 2010. The dataset contains information on 22 dichotomous, continuous or categorical variables including, for example, activities regulated (e.g., texting versus talking, hands-free versus handheld), targeted populations, and exemptions.[60]

In 2014, various state police forces in Australia have trialled cameras which have the ability to pick up errant drivers from more than 500 metres (1,600 ft) away.[61] Police in Western Australia makes use of undercover motorcycles to keep an eye on other motorists and any offence will be recorded on the officer's helmet camera.[62] Other countries with high levels of car crashes relating to distracted driving are also considering similar measures.

NSW road rules were changed on 1 December 2016 for P2 drivers. Learner, P1 and P2 drivers must not use mobile phones for any function while driving or riding or while stationary (at traffic lights). You must be parked out of traffic to use your phone. [3]

The Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Mobile Phones—P2 Licences) Regulation 2016 under the Road Transport Act 2013 enforces this new rule and the objects of this Regulation sought: (a) to amend the Road Rules 2014 to extend the restriction on drivers who are holders of learner or provisional P1 licences from using a mobile phone while driving a vehicle (whether or not the mobile phone is held by the driver) to include drivers who are holders of provisional P2 licences, and (b) to make consequential amendme[63] nts to the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008.

This Regulation was made under the Road Transport Act 2013.

Prior to the introduction of this new law on 1 December 2016, only learner and P1 provisional licence-holders were barred from using mobile phones in any capacity while driving, as P2 drivers faced the same restrictions as other licence-holders.

List of countries with bans[edit]

Hand-held and hands-free[edit]

Countries where using either a hand-held or hands-free phone while driving is illegal:

  •  Japan
  •  United States – No state bans the use of all cell phones for all adult drivers of non-commercial vehicles at all times. However:[64]
    •  California – As of January 1, 2017, it is illegal to hold and use an electronic device while driving. Using a mobile device at a stop light is considered a distraction and leads to a ticket. In addition, a Global Positioning System (GPS) device should not be the center of the dash board. Using a cell phone as a GPS that requires the driver to touch or swipe the screen is also illegal.[65]
    •  Louisiana has a ban that applies to all drivers during first year of an restricted license. Enforcement is primary for those under 18, and otherwise secondary.
    • As of January 2012, 30 states plus  Washington, D.C. ban all cell phone use by some or all young drivers, usually those under 18. In 15 of these jurisdictions, the bans apply to all drivers under 18, even with unrestricted licenses. Each state law, however, has its own unique features. Examples include:
      •  Illinois – The ban applies to drivers under 19.
      •  Kentucky – Allows the use of GPS features, although data entry by a driver under 18 is illegal if the vehicle is in motion.[59]
      •  Michigan – Does not allow teens with a Graduated Driver's License Level 1 or 2 to use a mobile phone while driving except:
        • When using a voice operated system built into the car
        • When reporting a crime, medical emergency, traffic accident, serious road hazard, and/or a situation where the driver's personal safety may be in danger[66]
      •  New Jersey – See Kyleigh's Law.
    • Washington State – As of July 23, 2017, anyone caught holding ANY Electronic Device, Grooming, or eating while driving is subject to the new DUI-E Law which is a ticket of $136 First Offense and $236 Second Offense. This Law Starts at State Line near Spokane, and goes all over Washington State including Puget Sound Islands.[67]
    • 19 states, plus Washington, D.C., ban the use of cell phones by school bus drivers when the vehicle is in motion. In  Texas, the ban only applies when passengers under age 17 are present, and has no emergency exception.
    • The cities of San Antonio and Austin, Texas have enacted a citywide hand-held ban for all electronic devices. This includes texting while driving, using a smart phone with a built in GPS navigator, and using MP3 players. This goes beyond the existing state law applicable to school zones, with fines up to $500 for violations.

Hand-held only[edit]

Countries where using a hand-held phone while driving is illegal:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Redelmeier, Donald; Tibshirani, Robers (February 13, 1997). "Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions". The New England Journal of Medicine. 336 (7): 453–458. doi:10.1056/NEJM199702133360701. PMID 9017937.
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  9. ^ Global, CSU. "CSU-Global" (PDF). ac-els-cdn-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  10. ^ (PDF) https://research.qut.edu.au/carrsq/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2017/12/Mobile-phone-distraction-email.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Global, CSU. "CSU-Global". search-proquest-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  12. ^ https://search-proquest-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/docview/1906062264/?pq-origsite=primo. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  14. ^ "Quit Googling yourself and drive: About 20% of drivers using Web behind the wheel, study says". Los Angeles Times. March 4, 2011.
  15. ^ US DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Distacted Drive Report released September 2010 http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811379.pdf
  16. ^ Eby, David; Lidia Kostyniuk (May 2003). Driver distraction and crashes: An assessment of crash databases and review of the literature (PDF). The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
  17. ^ a b Jane C. Stutts; et al. (May 2001). "The role of driver distraction in traffic crashes" (PDF). AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 26, 2007.
  18. ^ "An Investigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications in Vehicles". National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 1997.
  19. ^ Cell Phone Use and Motor Vehicle Collisions: A Review of the Studies Archived April 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau Table 1067. Motor Vehicle Accidents—Number and Deaths: 1980 to 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-27.
  21. ^ "Fatality Analysis Reporting System".
  22. ^ "CTIA - International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Fatal Crashes vs. Cell Phone Subscribers from 1994 to 2008".
  24. ^ "Hand-Held Cellphone Laws and Collision Claim Frequencies" (PDF). Highway Loss Data Institute Bulletin. December 2009.
  25. ^ Copeland, Larry (January 29, 2010). "Driver phone bans' impact doubted". USA Today.
  26. ^ Seybert, Robert (2013). "Mr" (PDF). NHTSA. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
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External links[edit]


Texting while driving

Texting while driving leads to increased distraction

Texting while driving, also called texting and driving, is the act of composing, sending, reading text messages, email, or making similar use of the web on a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle. Texting while driving is considered extremely dangerous by many people, including authorities, and in some places have either been outlawed or restricted. A survey of more than 90 teens from more than 26 high schools throughout the United States conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance Group in 2006 showed that 46% of students consider texting to be either "very" or "extremely" distracting.[citation needed] An American Automobile Association study showed that 34% of teens (age 16–17) admitted to being distracted behind the wheel because of texting and 40% of American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.[1] A study involving commercial vehicle operators conducted in September 2009 concluded that though incidence of texting within their dataset was low, texting while driving increased the risk of accident significantly.[2]

Texting has become a social norm since the early 2000s because of the popularity of smartphones.[3] There have been many studies that have linked texting while driving to be the cause of life-threatening accidents due to driver distraction. The International Telecommunication Union states that "texting, making calls, and other interaction with in-vehicle information and communication systems while driving is a serious source of driver distraction and increases the risk of traffic accidents".[3] In 2013 the National Safety Council estimated there were about 1.4 million crashes in the US involving cell phone use. Their model predicted text messaging was involved in 6-16% of all car accidents in the US.[4] In 2010, texting while driving amongst young drivers was named a disease burden and ranked 8th overall in the global years of life lost (YLL). The premature mortality of young drivers who crash as a result of distracted driving has a greater effect on YLL than most diseases do.[5]

A 2010 experiment with Car and Driver magazine editor Eddie Alterman, which took place at a deserted air strip, showed that texting while driving had a worse impact on safety than driving while intoxicated. The Institute of Industrial Engineers concluded that drivers are 20 times more likely to be involved in an accident while texting and driving as opposed to driving while intoxicated.[6]

While legally drunk, Alterman's stopping distance from 70 mph (110 km/h) increased by 4 feet (1.2 m); by contrast, reading an e-mail added 36 feet (11 m), and sending a text added 70 feet (21 m).[7] While celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey have campaigned against texting while driving, there are reports that the message has not been getting through.[8]

Research[edit]

The scientific literature on the dangers of driving while sending a text message from a mobile phone, or driving while texting, is limited but growing. A simulation study at the Monash University Accident Research Center provided strong evidence that retrieving and, in particular, sending text messages has a detrimental effect on a number of safety-critical driving measures.[9] Specifically, negative effects were seen in detecting and responding correctly to road signs, detecting hazards, time spent with eyes off the road, and (only for sending text messages) lateral position. Mean speed, speed variability, lateral position when receiving text messages, and following distance showed no difference.[10] A separate, yet unreleased simulation study at the University of Utah found a sixfold increase in distraction-related accidents when texting.[11]

The low number of scientific studies may be indicative of a general assumption that if talking on a mobile phone increases risk, then texting also increases risk, and probably more so. 89% of U.S. adults think that text messaging while driving is "distracting, dangerous and should be outlawed".[12] The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released polling data that show that 87% of people consider texting and e-mailing while driving a "very serious" safety threat, almost equivalent to the 90% of those polled who consider drunk driving a threat. Despite the acknowledgement of the dangers of texting behind the wheel, about half of drivers 16 to 24 say they have texted while driving, compared with 22 percent of drivers 35 to 44.[13] Texting while driving received greater attention in the late 2000s, corresponding to a rise in the number of text messages being sent.[13] The 2008 Will Smith movie Seven Pounds deals with Smith's character committing suicide in order to donate his organs to help save the lives of seven people to make up for the seven people he killed in a car accident because he was receiving a text message while he was driving. Texting while driving attracted interest in the media after several highly publicized car crashes were caused by texting drivers, including a May 2009 incident involving a Boston trolley car driver who crashed while texting his girlfriend.[14] Texting was blamed in the 2008 Chatsworth train collision which killed 25 passengers. Investigations revealed that the engineer of that train had sent 45 text messages while operating. Despite these incidents, texting was still on the rise. A July 2010 Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found 25% of New Jersey voters admitted to sending a text while driving, which was an increase from 15% in 2008. This increase could be attributed to drivers over the age of 30 sending text messages. More than 35% of New Jersey drivers aged 30 to 45 and 17% of drivers over 45 admitted to having sent a text message while driving in the last year, an increase of 5–10% from 2008.[15] Several studies have attempted to compare the dangers of texting while driving with driving under the influence. One such study was conducted by Car and Driver magazine in June 2009.[16] The study, carried out at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Oscoda, Michigan, used two drivers in real cars and measured reaction times to the onset of light on the windshield. The study compared the reaction times and distances of the subjects while reading a text message, replying to the text message, and impaired. The study showed that at 35 mph (56 km/h), reading a text message increased the reaction time the most, 0.12 and 0.87 seconds. Impaired driving at the same speed resulted in an increase of 0.01 and 0.07 seconds. In terms of stopping distances these times were estimated to mean:

  • Unimpaired: 0.54 seconds to brake
  • Legally drunk: add 4 feet (1.2 m)
  • Reading e-mail: add 36 feet (11 m)
  • Sending a text: add 70 feet (21 m)[17]

On Sept. 29, 2010, the insurance industry’s Highway Loss Data Institute released research purporting to show that texting-while-driving bans in four states failed to reduce crashes and may instead have contributed to an increase in road accidents. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the study "completely misleading".[18]

In March 2012 the UK's Institute of Advanced Motorists published a study which claimed that using smartphones for social networking while driving is more dangerous than drink-driving or being high on cannabis.[19] In 2013, based on the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control in the US, nearly half of all male and female respondents aged 16 to 19 reported they texted while driving.[20]

Research by the Transport Research Laboratory showed that texting while driving slowed a driver's reaction time more so than drinking alcohol or using drugs. Driver's reaction times decreased by 46% while making a call, 37% when texting and driving, and 27% during hands-free calls. Those who were drinking and driving at the limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, reaction times slowed by 13% and 21% for those under the influence of cannabis.[21][22]

A study by the University of Buffalo revealed that a similar habit, texting while walking, causes more injuries than texting while driving.[23]

In November 2014, Sawyer et al., from the University of Central Florida and the US Air Force Research Laboratory, published the results of comparative study in a driving simulator. Subjects were asked to use either Google Glass or a smartphone-based messaging interface and were then interrupted with an emergency event. The Glass-delivered messages served to moderate but did not eliminate distracting cognitive demands. A potential passive cost to drivers merely wearing the Glass was also observed. Messaging using either device impaired driving as compared to driving without multi-tasking.[24]

In October 2016, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Aceable Driving published a study showing that teenagers are more likely to witness their parents or legal guardians driving distracted than their friends and peers.[25] The study also suggested that texting and driving bans are somewhat effective. In Austin, Texas, where a hands-free-driving ordinance prohibiting the use of electronic hand-held devices while operating a vehicle or bicycle has been in place since 2015, 41% of teens reported that they never witnessed their parents or guardians driving distracted.[26] In Houston, Texas, which had no ban on hand-held devices during the time of the study, only 23% of teens said the same.[27]

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study[edit]

On July 27, 2009, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released preliminary findings of their study of driver distraction in commercial vehicles.[28] Several naturalistic driving studies, of long-haul trucks as well as lighter vehicles driving six million combined miles, used video cameras to observe the drivers and road. Researchers observed 4,452 "safety-critical" events, which includes crashes, near crashes, safety-critical events, and lane deviations. 81% of the "safety-critical" events involved some type of driver distraction. Text messaging had the greatest relative risk, with drivers of heavy vehicles or trucks being more than 23 times more likely to experience a safety-critical event when texting.[29] The study found that drivers typically take their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of four out of six seconds when texting, and an average of 4.6 out of the six seconds surrounding safety-critical events. The study revealed that when traveling at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h), a driver texting for 6 seconds is looking at the phone for 4.6 seconds of that time and travels the distance of a football field without their eyes on the road. Some of VTTI's conclusions from this study included that "texting should be banned in moving vehicles for all drivers", and that "all cell phone use should be banned for newly licensed teen drivers". The results of the study are listed in the table below.

Risk Increases of Cell Phone Tasks by Vehicle Type[30]
Cell phone task Risk of crash or near event crash
Light Vehicle Dialing 2.8 times as high as non‐distracted driving
Light Vehicle Talking/Listening 1.3 times as high as non‐distracted driving
Light Vehicle Reaching for object (i.e. electronic device...) 1.4 times as high as non‐distracted driving
Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Dialing 5.9 times as high as non‐distracted driving
Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Talking/Listening 1.0 times as high as non‐distracted driving
Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Use/Reach for electronic device 6.7 times as high as non‐distracted driving
Heavy Vehicles/Trucks Text messaging 23.2 times as high as non‐distracted driving

Naturalistic studies[edit]

In 2011 Shutko and Tijerina reviewed large naturalistic studies on cars (Dingus and Klauer, 2008; Klauer et al., 2006; Young and Schreiner, 2009), heavy good vehicles (Olsen at el, 2008) and commercial vehicles and buses (Hickman et al., 2010) and in field operational tests (Sayer et al., 2005, 2007), and concluded:

  • (a) Most of the collisions and near-misses that occur involve inattention as a contributing factor;
  • (b) visual inattention—that is, looking away from the road scene—is the single most significant factor contributing to crash and near-crash involvement, and
  • (c) cognitive distraction associated with listening to or talking on a handheld or hands-free device is associated with real world crashes and near-miss events to a lesser extent than is commonly believed, and such distractions may even enhance safety in some instances.[31]

Dangers[edit]

The popularity of mobile devices has some unintended and even dangerous consequences. The use of mobile devices is linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and even loss of life.

  • In 2010 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted drivers were the cause of 18% of all fatal crashes with 3,092 people being killed, and crashes that resulted in injuries with 416,000 people wounded.[32]
  • According to a Pew Research Centre survey, 40% of American teens say that they have been in a car where the driver used a cell phone in a way which put people in danger.[1]
  • The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that text messaging creates a crash risk that is 23 times worse than driving while not being distracted.[33]
  • Eleven percent of drivers who are between the ages of 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived have admitted that they were either sending or receiving texts when they crashed.[34]

Laws by location[edit]

A number of countries ban all cell phone use while driving (talking and texting).

Australia[edit]

The laws are much the same for all states and territories in Australia. The driver of a vehicle (except an emergency vehicle, taxi or police vehicle) must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked, unless the driver is exempt from this rule under another law of this jurisdiction. The law does not apply if the phone is in a secured fixed mounting that is positioned in such a way that the driver does not have to take their eyes off the road. The law also does not apply if the driver is using a hands free device. In some locations, provisional or learner drivers are banned from all forms of mobile phone usage while they are in control of a vehicle. Apart from mobile phones, drivers should not appear to be distracted by anything else; this include GPS devices and PDAs.

Canada[edit]

All provinces and the Northwest Territories have banned both talking on hand-held phones and texting while driving. The country's other two territories, Nunavut, and Yukon, have yet to enact bans.[35]

Germany[edit]

Any use of a mobile phone is forbidden as long as the vehicle's engine is running. This does however not apply to hand-free devices, provided that the driver does not become distracted. In 2014 a higher court overturned a ruling of a lower court and ruled that the use of a mobile phone is allowed while in traffic, if it occurs while the vehicle is stopped and a start-stop system has turned the engine off.[36]

Netherlands[edit]

Any use of a mobile phone is forbidden if the vehicle is moving. This does not apply, however, to hands-free devices.[37]

New Zealand[edit]

In 2009, the New Zealand Government introduced new clauses to its Land Transport (Road User) Rule, which ban any use of mobile phones while driving, except for emergency calling to 111 or *555 (only if unsafe or impracticable to stop the vehicle to make the call).[38][39]

Sweden[edit]

The Government of Sweden, as of 22 December 2012, has stated that texting while driving is not an offence that can lead to a ban, but that it is looking to clarify the Highway Code to include it under reckless driving.[40] In 2013, Sweden outlawed mobile telephone activities if it affects driving in a negative way.[41]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

The use of mobiles while driving is prohibited and offenders can also expect to have demerit points added to their record. In one instance a UAE minister was himself given a fine for using his mobile phone while driving.[42]

United Kingdom[edit]

Driver texting while driving a car in the United Kingdom

Any use of a hand-held mobile phone or similar device while driving, or supervising a learner driver, is illegal. This includes when stopped at traffic lights. The only exceptions are emergency calls to 999 or 112.[43]

United States[edit]

Map of laws for cell-phone use and text messaging while driving

Texting while driving is generally outlawed for drivers in all states and the District of Columbia except Arizona, Montana, and Missouri.

On October 1, 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced President Barack Obama's signing of an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles, among other activities.[44] According to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, “This order sends a very clear signal to the American public that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable. It shows that the federal government is leading by example." As a part of a larger move to combat distracted driving, the DOT and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched the public information website distraction.gov.[45] In addition, a petition has been created on the White House petitions site, We the People, to ask the Obama administration to encourage all states that have not done so to create laws that ban texting and driving.[46]

On January 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a federal ban on texting while driving by truckers and bus drivers.[47]

Existing laws[edit]

State Effective Restriction Penalty Other details Source
Alabama August 1, 2012 Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers. Ban on texting for all drivers. Penalties include a $25 fine for the first offense, increasing to $50 and $75 and two points on the driver's license. [48]
Alaska September 1, 2008
May 11, 2012
House Bill 8 prohibits drivers from using electronic devices with a visual display (e.g. televisions or computers) while driving. The law does not specify cell phones, though it can be interpreted this way, and is seen as a ban on texting and driving.  HB 255 was signed into law 11 May 2012 and specifically targets "cell phone texting".  The previous 2008 HB 8 and 2012 HB 255 laws do provide for exceptions, such a caller ID usage while making a voice phone call and using GPS devices. Alaska’s anti-texting laws are considered “primary” laws, which means that an officer can pull one over for an offense without having witnessed another violation. Anyone that violates this law (depending on the circumstances) would only be guilty of a misdemeanor and if a driver is in accident that results in an injury or death, then they would be charged with a felony. For the 2008 HB 8, violators are guilty of misdemeanor. If death is caused by violation, violator is guilty of a felony. For the 2012 HB 255, violators are guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor (same as DUI) and can result in a $250 to $500 fine for first-time offenders, but could result in jail time. (Need Citation) [49]
2008 HB 8
2012 HB 255
Arizona Unknown Ban on all cell phone use by school bus drivers only In the cities of Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff the fine for texting while driving is $100 (or $250 if texting is the cause of an accident) Coconino County (Prescott) bans all handheld electronic devices while driving [50][51]
Arkansas October 2009 All drivers, regardless of age or experience, prohibited from sending text messages while driving Offenders can face fines up to $100. Known as HB1013 or "Paul's Law." Exempts emergency service providers in the provision of services. A violation of the law is a primary offense, meaning it can be the sole reason for a traffic stop. [52][53]
California January 1, 2009 Prohibits use of any handheld electronic device while driving $20 first offense
$50 each subsequent offense
[54][55]
Colorado December 1, 2009 Prohibits sending text messages, email, or tweets while driving $50 first offense
$100 second offense
Also prohibits drivers under 18 from talking on a cellphone while driving [56]
Connecticut June 3, 2010 Use of any handheld device for any purpose other than to report a life-threatening emergency is prohibited $100 first offense
$150 second offense
$250 third or subsequent offense
Also prohibits drivers under 18 and school bus drivers carrying passengers from talking on a cellphone while driving [57]
Delaware January 2, 2011 Hand-held devices illegal for all drivers $50 first offense
$100 second offense
$200 third or subsequent offense
Also prohibits drivers under 18 from talking on hands-free cell phones while driving [58]
District of Columbia Unknown All handheld cell phone use banned First time offenders will have their fines suspended, but only if they submit proof of that they have acquired a hands free device. If a driver is from another jurisdiction and are ticket for a cell phone driving infraction, then they may lose their drivers license if they have failed to pay their Washington D.C. ticket. There is a $100 fine for repeat offenders for each violation. The ban is considered to be a “primary” laws, as it does prohibit use of cell phones by bus drivers. A primary law is when an officer can pull you over for an offense without even having to witness another violation, to say that if an officer see you texting he can issue you a citation. [59]
Florida October 1, 2013 Senate bill SB 52 prohibits drivers in Florida from typing into a virtual keyboard and sending or reading messages. However, a driver can only be charged for the violation if they are cited for another motor vehicle violation. If officers pull a driver over for another offense and see that the driver was also texting, drivers would be subject to a $30 fine on the first offense. If texting results in a crash, the driver would be assessed six points. Points lead to increased insurance rates. [60][61]
Georgia July 1, 2010(Texting)

July 1, 2018(All)

Prohibits writing, sending, or reading any text-based communication, including via internet; also prohibits drivers under 18 with provisional licenses from talking on cell phones while driving.

Prohibits holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device.

1st conviction – 1 point and $50.00 fine

2nd conviction – 2 points and $100.00 fine

3rd or more convictions – 3 points and $150.00 fine

The ban is considered to be a “primary” laws, as it does prohibit use of cell phones by bus drivers. A primary law is when an officer can pull you over for an offense without even having to witness another violation, to say that if an officer see you texting he can issue you a citation. [62][63][64]
Hawaii July 1, 2013 Illegal to use most electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle $200 for a first offense The State of Hawaii does not use a point system, so texting while driving violations will not access any points assessed on a driver's license, and because this penalty is not deemed to be a traffic infraction, it has no effect on one's driving record. [65]
Idaho July 1, 2012 Illegal for all drivers Anyone who violates this law will be guilty of an infraction and will not result in any violation point counts as it is as prescribed in section 49-326, of Idaho Code. Additionally a conviction will not be deemed as a moving traffic violation for the purpose of establishing rates of motor vehicle insurance that is charged by a casualty insurer. [66][67]
Illinois January 1, 2010 Illegal for all drivers to use handheld devices. Only hands-free devices such as speakerphones, Bluetooth, and headsets are permitted. In addition to the ban on using handheld devices, all cell phone use is prohibited while driving in a school zone, in a construction zone, and all cell phone use is prohibited for novice drivers. Texting is prohibited for all drivers in Illinois. Violation fines start at $75 This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding). [68]
Indiana July 1, 2011 All drivers prohibited from reading or sending text messages. Drivers under 18 prohibited from using cell phones for any purpose. Up to $500 fine. Up to $500 fine. [69]
Iowa July 1, 2010 Adults are banned from text messaging while driving and teens are prohibited from using handheld electronic devices. $30 for adults texting while driving and $50 for teens using handheld electronic devices [70]
Kansas May 24, 2010 Illegal for all drivers this includes to report a current or Report current or ongoing illegal activity to law enforcement; to prevent imminent injury to a person or property; or to relay information between transit or for-hire operator and the operator's dispatcher, in which the device is permanently affixed to the motor vehicle. $60 Exemptions to the ban includes: (1) A law enforcement officer or emergency service personnel acting within the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's or emergency service personnel's employment; (2) a motor vehicle stopped off the regular traveled portion of the roadway; (3) a person who reads, selects or enters a telephone number or name in a wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a phone call; (4) a person who receives an emergency, traffic or weather alert message; or (5) a person receiving a message related to the operation or navigation of the motor vehicle. [71]
Kentucky July 15, 2010 House Bill 415 prohibits the following:
  • Reading, writing, and sending email or text messages by all drivers when the vehicle is in motion.
  • All cell phone usage by drivers under 18, regardless of license type. Exceptions for emergencies, and for GPS use that does not involve data entry.
Warnings until January 1, 2011. After that date:
  • $25 for first offense
  • $50 for subsequent offenses
  • For drivers under 18 on restricted licenses, mandatory 180-day waiting period from the time of offense before graduating to the next license level. This applies from the law's effective date.
Drivers 18 and over allowed to read, select, and enter phone numbers or names in order to make a call. All drivers allowed to use GPS features, and drivers 18 and over allowed to enter data for GPS purposes at all times. [72]
Louisiana August 15, 2010 SB9 prohibits the following: Text messaging ban for all drivers. Primary enforcement begins Aug. 15, 2010:
  • Fines up to $175 (first offense)
  • $500 (second offense)
Drivers under 18 years old may not use wireless devices — including cell phones, text-messaging units and computers — while operating motor vehicles
  • Drivers with learner’s and intermediate licenses prohibited from using cell phones unless a hands-free device is attached
[73]
Maine September 26, 2011 Prohibits texting while driving Fine of $100 for first offense and then increased fines for subsequent offenses. This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding). [74]
Maryland July 1, 2009 Prohibits writing or sending text messages as well as using handheld cell phones while operating motor vehicle or while in the travel portion of the roadway. Fine up to $500 Exception for use of GPS or emergency situations. [75][76]
Massachusetts July 6, 2010 Prohibits drivers from sending a text or instant message, use of electronic mail, Internet access, and all of the above on electronic devices including phones, laptops, pagers, or other hand-held devices. First offense: $100, second offense: $250, and 3rd offense: $500; If one is under 18, 1st offense: $100 fine in addition to a 60-day license suspension, and attend a mandatory "attitude" class. 2nd offense: $250 fine and a 180-day suspension. 3rd offense: $500 fine and a-one year suspension. GPSs are still allowed. Use of a phone is banned to all people under 18. Once 18, a driver can make hands-free or normal calls. Also, the bill requires anyone over 75 to get a driving test every five years and take a vision test. [77][78][79]
Michigan July 1, 2010 Reading, typing, or sending while vehicle is moving $100 first offense
$200 each subsequent offense
Exception for use of GPS or emergency situations. [80][81]
Minnesota August 1, 2008 Any form of text messaging while driving is illegal, and is considered a petty misdemeanor statewide. Up to $300. Also prohibits drivers under 18 from talking on a cellphone while driving; GPS and cell phone usage still allowed. [82][83][84]
Mississippi 2014 Illegal for all drivers Fines up to $500; or $1,000 if an accident results. [85][86]
Missouri August 28, 2016 Text messaging while operating a motor vehicle prohibited for persons under 21 and for commercial vehicle operators. Points assessed against license This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding). [87]
Montana 2009-2013 In cities such as Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, Whitefish, Butte-Silver Bow, Hamilton, Great Falls and Billings. It is illegal to text while operating a vehicle. $50 First offense, $100 second offense, $200 third offense. 2 point moving violation is added onto one's record. [88]
Nebraska 2013/2014 Text messaging is banned for all drivers on Nebraska’s roads and highways. Those drivers under the age of 18 who have either a learner’s permit or other intermediate licenses are prohibited from using cellphones altogether. Fines $200–$500 plus 3 points against driver’s license. [89]
Nevada July 1, 2011 Drivers are prohibited from using either a cell phone or other wireless communications device to access or search the Internet, or to type, enter, send, or read any non-voice communication, including text messages, instant messages (IM), or email. Global positioning systems (GPS) are not covered by the law. Fines of up to $50 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense that occurs within seven years; and $250 for a third offense the occurs within seven years. Higher fines are imposed on drivers who violate the law in traffic control zones. Ban does not apply to emergency personnel, or licensed amateur radio operators who are communicating certain public information, employees of public utilities who are responding to emergencies, or drivers who are reporting emergencies or responding to dangerous situations. [90][91]
New Hampshire Jan. 1, 2010 Use of handheld devices is illegal for all drivers $100 This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding). [92][93]
New Jersey March 1, 2008 All drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones except if: (1) The operator has reason to fear for his life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against himself or another person; or (2) The operator is using the telephone to report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard or medical or hazardous materials emergency, or to report the operator of another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. $200 to $400 for the first offense, $400 to $600 for the second offense, and up to $800, three points on your license. Possible 90-day suspension of license. Anyone under the age of 21 who have either a learner’s permits or probationary licenses are prohibited from using all cell phones, texting devices and other hand-held or hands-free wireless electronic devices while driving (this includes MP3 players, video games, and similar devices). [94][95]
New Mexico Unknown Illegal for all drivers $25 for a first offense, then $50. This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding). [96][97]
New York 2009 No person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion. "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data. Fine up to $150 plus mandatory $85 surcharge fees. Violation also carries 5 driver violation points. Those who are driving on a permit, junior license or probationary licence will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense and one year for subsequent offenses. Does not apply to (a) the use of a portable electronic device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a police department, (b) any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a member of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter. [98][99]
North Carolina December 1, 2009 Text messaging as well email and internet use is prohibited for all drivers. Drivers under the age of 18 who have a provisional are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, unless they are calling their parents. Operators of school buses are prohibited from using cell phones while driving.
  • Texting, email and internet use: $100 and no points against license.
  • Drivers under 18 using cellphone: $25.
  • School bus operators using cell phones $100, no points.
[100][101][102]
North Dakota August 1, 2011 Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers, and driver under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any electronic communications devices, including cell phones. $100 fine. This is a Primary Law, which means that the driver can receive a ticket for the violation without other traffic violations taking place (such as speeding). [103][104]
Ohio August 28, 2012 Illegal for all drivers
  • Primary offense for drivers under 18 years old. Youth drivers may be stopped and cited for texting while driving.
  • Secondary offense for adult drivers. Adult drivers must be stopped for another offense before they can be cited.
For offenders under 18:

1st offense: $150 fine and 60-day license suspension 2nd offense: $300 fine and 1-year license suspension

For offenders over 18: $150 fine

The use of any handheld device by drivers under the age of 18 is illegal. [105][106]
Oklahoma November 1, 2015 It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message while the motor vehicle is in motion. Maximum fine of $100. No points on driving record. Oklahoma State Governor Mary Fallen signed House Bill 1965 on May 5, 2015 making texting while driving illegal in the state. The act went into law on November 1, 2015. [107][108][109][110]
Oregon January 2010 House Bill 2377 prohibits all drivers from using a mobile communication device while operating a motor vehicle. A mobile communication device is defined as "a text messaging device or a wireless, two-way communication device designed to receive and transmit voice or text communication."

House Bill 2872 prohibits drivers that are under 18 years of age from using any type of mobile communication device such as a cell-phone. This includes text-messaging and does not allow for hands-free operation of a cell-phone. This law applies if one is under 18 and driving with a provisional drivers license, a special student driver permit, or an instruction driver permit.

Minimum fine of $142.00 HB 2377 exempts use of hands-free devices by all drivers 18 and over; some drivers who use a mobile communications device while driving if the vehicle is necessary for the person’s job; and some drivers who use radios (CB-style) while in the scope of their employment. [111]
Pennsylvania March 8, 2012 Text messaging while driving prohibited for all drivers. There is no statewide limit on cell phone use, but some local ordinances address cell phones and driving. $50 fine [112][113]
Rhode Island 2009 Text messaging outlawed for all drivers on Rhode Island roads. Those under the age of 18 prohibited from using cell phones altogether. School bus operators prohibited from using cell phones while driving. $85 for the first offense, then $100 and then $125. Considered “primary” laws, which means that an officer can pull one over and issue a citation for the offense without having to witness some other violation. [114][115]
South Carolina June 9, 2014 Prohibits driver from writing, sending or reading a text while driving, but can text only if they are legally stopped or are using a hands-free device. Also includes social media & emails. $25 fine the first offence; $50 fine for subsequent offences Known as bill S 459, it supersedes at least 19 different city, as well as two county, ordinances on texting. Exception for use of GPS or emergency situations.[116] [117][118][119][120][121][122]
South Dakota 2013 All drivers are banned from text messaging while driving. Drivers who are under the age of 18 who have a restricted/learners license are banned from using handheld wireless communications devices. At least nine South Dakota cities have distracted driving ordinances — Rapid City, Huron, Watertown, Brookings, Mitchell, Vermillion, Aberdeen, Box Elder and Sioux Falls. $100 [123][124]
Tennessee July 1, 2009 All drivers prohibited from transmitting or reading a written message while vehicle is in motion Up to $50
Plus court costs not to exceed $10
Also known as Senate Bill 393. [125]
Texas September 1, 2017 Texas legislators enforce texting while driving laws and bans. Anyone who violates this law receives a ticket and faces a misdemeanor charge, also receives a fine between $25 and $99. Anyone who is responsible for an individuals death or serious injury from texting while driving face a fine up to $4000. [126]
Utah May 2009 Texting, accessing the internet, manually dialing a number, and other similar use of a handheld device is prohibited while driving. Exceptions to this law are talking, using voice commands, and GPS navigation. First Offence: Class C misdemeanor

Second Offence: Class B misdemeanor Automatic Class B misdemeanor if the person inflicted serious bodily injury upon another as a proximate result of using a handheld wireless communication device for text messaging or electronic mail communication while operating a moving motor vehicle

[127][128]
Vermont October 1, 2014
  • All "portable electronic device" usage banned for drivers under 18
  • Handheld electronic devices are banned for all drivers
  • FIRST OFFENSE:
    • $100 fine + surcharge + 15% = $156
    • 2 points on license
    • Junior Operators (under 18) subject to 30-day recall (suspension)
  • SECOND OFFENSE (within two years of First Offense)
    • $250 fine + surcharge + 15% = $329
    • 5 points on license
    • Junior Operators (under 18) subject to 30-day recall (suspension)
[129]
Virginia 2009 All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. School bus drivers are prohibited form using cell phones either handheld or hands-free. $125–$250 Violations are a primary offense [130][131]
Washington 2010 Illegal for all drivers $124, more if an accident results Text messaging or cell phone use without a hands free device is a primary offense. [132][133]
West Virginia Summer 2012 Text messaging and the use of handheld cell phones are illegal for all drivers in West Virginia. Teenagers who have a learner’s permits or intermediate licenses are prohibited from using wireless communication devices while driving. School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while operating the vehicles. $100 (first offense), then $200, then $300. Three points against the driver’s license on the third and subsequent convictions. West Virginia’s texting & handheld cell phone law and 17C-14-15 [134]
Wisconsin December 1, 2010
  • Illegal for all drivers
  • The law is primary, meaning police officers can stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.
  • FIRST OFFENSE:
    • $20–$400 Fine
    • 4 points on license
  • SECOND OFFENSE
    • $200–$800 Fine
Signed into Law: May 5, 2010 Wisconsin DOT
Wyoming July 1, 2010 Sending message from any electronic device while driving declared illegal. $75 for first offense. [135]

Notable collisions[edit]

  • On August 29, 2007, Danny Oates was killed by a young driver of a car, allegedly texting while driving. The defense had argued that driver Jeffrey Woods had possibly suffered a seizure during the time of the accident.[136]
  • On January 3, 2008 Heather Leigh Hurd was killed by a truck driver who allegedly was texting while driving. Her father Russell Hurd has been actively supporting a law in various U.S. states called Heather's Law that would prohibit texting while driving.[137]
  • The 2008 Chatsworth train collision, which killed 25 people, and which occurred on September 12, 2008, was blamed on the operator sending text messages while operating the train.[138]
  • In May 2009 a crash occurred on the MBTA Green Line in the Boston area of the MBTA, when a driver, 24-year-old Aiden Quinn, was text messaging his girlfriend while driving the train.[139] The crash, which injured 46 people, was estimated by MBTA officials to have cost $9.6 million.[140]
  • Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Frank Ryan's fatal crash on August 16, 2010 may have been the result of distracted driving due to texting.[141]
  • In May 2012 a jury in Corpus Christi, Texas awarded $21 million in damages to a woman who was struck by a Coca-Cola driver who had been on her cell phone at the time of the accident. The plaintiff’s attorneys were able to successfully argue that Coca-Cola’s cell phone policy for its drivers was “vague and ambiguous.”[142]
  • In June 2012 18-year-old Aaron Deveau of Haverhill, Massachusetts was found guilty of motor vehicle homicide by texting. He was sentenced to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years. Deveau was the first person in the state of Massachusetts to be convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting, and possibly the first in the United States.[143]
  • In September 2012, 21-year-old Stephanie Kanoff of Sun Prairie, WI was found guilty by a jury in July of homicide by negligent driving for the Oct. 24, 2010 death of Dylan Ellefson, 21, a senior at UW-Madison, who was behind his disabled car when he and his car were struck by Kanoff's minivan. Kanoff was also sentenced to serve two years of extended supervision after her release from prison. In addition to prison and extended supervision, Kanoff was ordered to spend 100 hours speaking to young people learning to drive and other groups about the dangers of texting while driving,[144] and was also ordered to not drive with a phone that's turned on in the driver's area of a car. Kanoff will also have to take a driving safety course to get her license back after a mandatory yearlong revocation.[145]
  • In March 2017, near Garner State Park, which is located in Concan, Texas, 13 people in a church bus were killed when a texting pickup truck driver crossed the center line and slammed into their bus.[146]

Technology as a solution[edit]

A sign in West University Place, Texas (Greater Houston) advising drivers that they are not allowed to text

In 2009, it was reported that some companies, including iZUP, ZoomSafer, Aegis Mobility, and cellcontrol by obdEdge employ systems that place restrictions on cell phone usage based on the phone’s GPS signal, data from the car itself or from nearby cellphone towers.[147] Also, companies like TextNoMore offer an opt-in solution that rewards users for activating.

The use of telematics to detect drunk driving and texting while driving has been proposed.[148] A US patent application combining this technology with a usage based insurance product was open for public comment on peer to patent.[149] The insurance product would not ban texting while driving, but would charge drivers who text and drive a higher premium.

In 2013, the use of location-based technology to detect potential texting while driving situations has been announced.[150] This approach utilizes the GPS and Network Location services of Android mobile phones to estimate the speed that the cell phone is travelling at the time text messages are sent. The recommended approach in this case is for parents install an app on their children's Android mobile phone to silently monitor texting, send alerts when potential texting while driving situations occur, and counsel phone holders (in this case, teenage drivers) after the fact.

To date there isn't a technology based solution for iPhones. This is due to the application security sandbox approach Apple has implemented on the iOS operating system. An iPhone app does not have access to low level device interfaces, as a result an iPhone app cannot block or auto respond to a text message while a person is driving. However the SafeTexting Campaign has developed an iPhone app that detects if a person is driving and reminds them not to text and drive.[151]

Over the past few months, various state police forces in Australia have started trialling cameras which have the ability to pick up errant drivers from more than 500 metres away.[152] Police in Western Australia makes use of undercover motorcycles to keep an eye on other motorists and any offence will be recorded on the motorcycle officer's helmet camera.[153]

Police in India have become more aggressive on a wide variety of traffic violations and once again, there is a widespread use of cameras.[154]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  • AppleInsiderApple aggressively hiring 4G, 5G wireless engineers in Qualcomm's home turfAppleInsiderApple aggressively hiring 4G, 5G wireless engineers in Qualcomm's home turf. By Roger Fingas Thursday, November 15, 2018, 08:42 am PT (11:42 am ET). Compounding Qualcomm's legal worries, Apple is reportedly recruiting engineers around the ...

  • MyBroadbandPoynting launches new LTE antennasMyBroadbandPoynting has released two new LTE/5G-ready omni-directional antennas. The antennas – OMNI-402 and OMNI-600 – can be used in cities or at sea, said the company. “Poynting's new OMNI-402 and the OMNI-600 MIMO antennas are based on the very ...

  • The VergeSurface Go with LTE arrives on November 20th starting at $679The VergeMicrosoft is planning to release an LTE version of its Surface Go tablet on November 20th. Preorders are starting today, with the base model priced at $679 for consumers and $729 for businesses. The base model includes 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, ...Surface Go with integrated LTE available for preorder now, from $679Ars TechnicaMicrosoft Releases Surface Go LTEAnandTechStay connected with the Surface Go LTE Advanced, coming November 20 for $679Digital TrendsPCWorld -Engadget -Windows Central -ZDNetall 120 news articles »

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  • MyBroadbandKaiOS working on WhatsApp for MTN's super-cheap 3G phoneMyBroadbandKaiOS is working on WhatsApp for devices powered by its feature phone operating system, including the new 3G “smart feature phone” recently announced by MTN. This is according to KaiOS Technologies CEO Sebastien Codeville, who was responding to ...and more »

  • Basingstoke GazetteJermaine Jenas opens Sherfield School's new 3G facilitiesBasingstoke GazetteJermaine Jenas was welcomed to Sherfield School on Friday to officially open the school's new state-of-the-art 3G training pitches. To coincide with Armistice Day the school has named the pitch the Aidan Liddell memorial pitch, in memory of one of the ...

  • American Journal of Transportation3Gtms Releases 3G-TM v17.4 for Enhanced Visibility, Flexibility and SecurityAmerican Journal of Transportation3Gtms, Inc., a global provider of Tier 1 transportation management software (TMS), announced the release of the 3G-TM transportation management system version 17.4. Built on a heavy product investment with an eye to current challenges and anticipated ...

  • EE Times IndiaIntel XMM 8160 Supports LTE and 2/3GEE Times IndiaIntel said its XMM 8160, a 5G modem chipset also supporting LTE and 2/3G, will ship in the second half of 2019, six months earlier than first planned. It will support data rates up to 6 Gbits/second and come in versions for millimeter wave and sub-6 ...and more »

  • MyBroadbandMTN unveils super-cheap 3G feature phone running KaiOSMyBroadbandMTN has announced a partnership with China Mobile, chipmaker Unisoc, and software developer KaiOS to launch a 3G “smart feature phone” for Africa. Speaking at AfricaCom, MTN CEO Rob Shuter said the phone will be brought in at a cost of $20 (R290).MTN To Bring KaiOS 3G Smart Feature Phone To AfricaTechfinancials.co.za (blog)MTN's $20 'smart feature phone' runs KaiOS. What is that?TechCentralMTN's super-cheap R300 smartphone has two cameras and a long battery life – here's what it looks likeBusiness Insider South Africaall 157 news articles »

  • Lawmakers discuss end of 3G, future of 5GTaipei TimesAlthough 3G mobile network licenses will expire at the end of the year, about 300,000 3G users have yet to switch to 4G plans, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. The commission was to brief lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan's ...

  • ITWeb AfricaVodacom Mozambique, Intelsat in 3G partnership to boost tourismITWeb AfricaVodacom Mozambique will acquire a solution from integrated satellite network solutions provider Intelsat SA to meet local demand for 3G services within the tourism sector. Under a multi-year agreement with Vodacom International, Intelsat has upgraded a ...Intelsat, Vodacom Mozambique ink 3G connectivity deal for the tourism sectorTelecompaperall 10 news articles »

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