Driver distraction is a contributing factor in many crashes. In 2016, distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,450 people (9.2 percent of all fatalities),1 although many instances may go unreported.
Cell phone use and texting are two of the most common distractions. Many states and local jurisdictions are passing laws that address these behaviors. GHSA's message to all drivers remains: don't use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, regardless of the current law. A list of tips for managing driver distraction is available here.
GHSA recommends states ban hand-held cell phone use for all drivers. While texting and hand-held bans are both critical, texting bans by themselves can be difficult to enforce. In states with texting but not hand-held bans, a driver may claim they were dialing a phone number when stopped by a police officer. Enforcement demonstration projects in New York, Connecticut, Delaware and California have shown that hand-held cell phone bans can be enforced effectively and can reduce driver use of a cell phone.
The It Can Wait® Campaign
GHSA supports the It Can Wait campaign. Spearheaded by AT&T, the goal of the campaign is to save lives by calling on the public, law enforcement, educators, corporations, consumer safety groups and legislators to help find solutions to prevent the dangers of texting and driving. Learn More
1 National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2017, October). 2016 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 456). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812456