New Report Analyzes Impact of Hands-Free Laws on Distracted Driving

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News Releases

March 28, 2024

Contacts: Adam Snider (GHSA), 202-580-7930, 202-365-8971 (after hours)
Lisa-Marie Pascuccio (CMT)

Governors Highway Safety Association, Cambridge Mobile Telematics release "A Road Map for Safer Roads" to highlight comprehensive strategies to combat distracted driving

Washington, D.C. & Cambridge, Mass. – The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) today released a new report addressing the growing concern over smartphone-induced distracted driving. The report proposes states implement a multi-faceted approach to improve road safety that includes the adoption of strong and clear laws, which CMT research confirms have a positive impact on distraction rates.

As part of a recent Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for advanced impaired driving prevention technologies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that distracted driving caused 12,405 fatalities in 2021 and a societal cost of approximately $158 billion. 

The report details how distracted driving has fallen in states like Ohio, Alabama, Michigan, and Missouri after they implemented hands-free laws. These results underscore the effectiveness of legal frameworks in enhancing road safety. The report also discusses how incentive-based programs such as "Safest Driver," powered by CMT technology, are motivating drivers to refrain from engaging in risky driving behaviors leading to a reduction in crashes.

Among the pivotal strategies that are part of a comprehensive approach outlined in the new GHSA/CMT report are the implementation of effective state laws, the initiation of public education campaigns, enforcement practices, and the use of safe driving technology. These strategies are designed to deter distracted driving and advance traffic safety through informed policy-making and targeted interventions.

In addition, the report highlights survey results showing which cell phone apps drivers are most likely to be distracted by.

“Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, yet commonplace. Too many of our loved ones, friends and neighbors have died or been injured because a motorist didn’t focus on the complex task of driving,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, GHSA’s Senior Director of External Engagement. “The good news is that we know what works – a comprehensive approach that leverages strong state laws, equitable enforcement, robust data collection, public engagement, vehicle technology and more. We have to double down on all these strategies to eliminate distraction and make our roads safer for everyone using them.”

“Working alongside GHSA and its members, CMT is helping analyze strategies that reduce crash risks. Reports like this emphasize the progress that can be gained by combining new technology with historical insights to enhance road safety for everyone," stated Ryan McMahon, Executive Sponsor of CMT’s Road Safety Board.

GHSA & CMT’s report, A Road Map for Safer Roads, is available now and can be downloaded here.

About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management, and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Visit for more information.

About Cambridge Mobile Telematics

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) is the world’s largest telematics service provider. Its mission is to make the world’s roads and drivers safer. The company’s AI-driven platform, DriveWell®, gathers sensor data from millions of IoT devices — including smartphones, proprietary Tags, connected vehicles, dash cams, and third-party devices — and fuses them with contextual data to create a unified view of vehicle and driver behavior. Companies from personal and commercial auto insurance, automotive, rideshare, smart cities, wireless, financial services, and family safety industries use insights from CMT’s platform to power their risk assessment, safety, claims, and driver improvement programs. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices in Budapest, Chennai, Seattle, Tokyo, and Zagreb, CMT serves millions of people through over 110 programs in 25 countries. Learn more at