Distracted Driving

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The chart below describes the statewide laws related to distracted driving across the country. Use the arrows below the chart to toggle through the states in alphabetical order. To advance slowly, click the single right arrow (>). To jump to the end, click the double arrows (>>). Or use the filter by state feature to jump to a specific state.
 
Download a PDF chart of distracted driving laws for all states here.
 
Scroll down for a summary overall totals of the number of states that have specific provisions.

California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

Hand-Held Ban?

No

Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

No

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Secondary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers with learner or intermediate licence. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Secondary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Hand-Held Ban?

No

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

No

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers with learner or intermediate licence. Primary law.

Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

Distracted Driving

This chart outlines state distracted driving laws. Some localities have additional regulations. Enforcement type is also noted.

  • Handheld Cellphone Use: 22 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cellphones while driving. All are primary enforcement laws — an officer may cite a driver for using a handheld cellphone without any other traffic offense taking place.
  • All Cellphone Use: No state bans all cellphone use for all drivers, but 37 states and D.C. ban all cellphone use by novice drivers, and 23 states and D.C. prohibit it for school bus drivers.
  • Text Messaging: Washington was the first state to pass a texting ban in 2007. Currently, 48 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. All but three have primary enforcement. Of the two states without an all-driver texting ban, one prohibits text messaging by novice drivers.

Crash Data Collection: All states except two (Connecticut and New Hampshire) include at least one category for distraction on police crash report forms, although the specific data collected varies. The Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) guideline provides best practices on distraction data collection.

Distracted Driving Law Chart
Law Chart

Preemption Laws: Some states have preemption laws that prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting their own distracted driving bans. States with such laws include — but may not be limited to — Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Carolina.

A PDF chart of state distracted driving laws is available for download here.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on distracted driving laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.