Distracted Driving Laws

What’s AAA’s Position on Distracted Driving Laws?

Laws are a critical part of the traffic safety equation to address distracted driving, but not the only component.  A comprehensive approach to addressing distracted driving includes not only laws but several additional elements:

Education: Drivers can be better informed about the risks of distracted driving through such channels as driver education and DMV manuals, community programs, the media, and by safety advocates.

Enforcement: States should establish and consistently enforce distracted driving laws based on sound research and safety principles.

Engineering: Roadway countermeasures that can help prevent distracted driving crashes and injuries include center and edge line rumble strips and stripes, guardrails, and median cable barriers.  Consumer electronics products and in-vehicle technology to manage the use of wireless communications may play a role in future solutions to reducing distracted driving.

Evaluation: Continued research is needed to determine the impact of and the most effective ways to curb distracted driving behaviors.

Encouragement: You are part of the solution. Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to avoid distracted driving.

 Nonetheless, distracted driving laws can make a positive impact on driver behavior.  AAA is advocating for states to:

  • Ban texting while driving for all drivers.
  • Ban the use of any wireless devices by teen drivers.
  • Adopt comprehensive distracted driving laws that increase penalties for drivers who commit traffic violations or cause crashes as a result of distracted driving.

What is the Law?

State and local laws related to distracted driving, cell phone use, and text messaging vary widely.

View an overview of distracted driving laws on AAA’s Digest of Motor Laws, or view a summary chart of state laws.

While it’s important to understand the law in your state and in any areas where you will be driving, AAA recommends that drivers stay safe by avoiding all forms of distraction and focusing on the road ahead.