Woman looking down at her cellphone while driving.

Cellphones and Driving

Cellphones continue to be one of the biggest distractions to today’s drivers. It is not uncommon to see drivers on their phones talking, texting, streaming music, looking up directions, or even “quickly” surfing the web. This type of distracted behavior endangers not only the driver, but also everyone else on the road.

Many people believe that they can multitask while driving and that cellphone use is not a big distraction. However, according to the National Safety Council, a driver’s brain does not actually multitask; it continually switches focus back and forth between the road and the phone. This slows reaction time and increases the risk for accidents. Even hands-free devices can divert a driver’s attention from the road. The National Safety Council reports that drivers talking on cellphones can miss up to 50% of their driving environment, including pedestrians and red lights.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety breaks down state-by-state laws restricting cellphone use and driving. As of February 2020, texting is banned for all drivers in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Talking on a hand-held device while driving is banned in 25 states and the District of Columbia. Whether there is an official ban in your state or not, we encourage you to stay off your phone while driving and keep your focus on the road.

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, National Safety Council