Using a cell phone or other electronic device while driving has led to an increase in distracted driving accidents nationwide. Cell phones have become an indispensable part of our lives. But studies have shown that any use of a cell phone to read, write or send messages while operating a vehicle is six times more dangerous than drunk driving.
Texting and Driving
Texting while driving increases time spent being distracted from the road by 400 percent. One of every four car accidents in the U.S. is caused by texting and driving. Teen drivers are four times more likely than adult drivers to cause an accident or near-accident when using a cell phone. And 21% of fatal accidents involving teen drivers were caused by cell phone distractions. In light of these statistics, it’s understandable why states are enacting distracted driving laws and penalties for texting while driving.
State distracted driving laws
Many states have responded to the dangers of distracted driving by passing traffic laws banning or limiting the use of cell phones while driving, especially by people under the age of 20. Violating these laws can add points to your driving record. Multiple citations for these offenses, and/or having other traffic violations, collectively can result in drivers license suspension. This would require you to file an SR22 Insurance or Non Owner SR22 Insurance certificate for license reinstatement.
- Currently, 47 states ban texting while driving for all drivers. All but four of those states have primary enforcement prohibiting texting and driving.
- 15 states have primary enforcement laws against using a hand held cell phone while driving.
- Primary enforcement means an officer can ticket a driver observed using a hand held cell phone, even if no other traffic offense took place.
- 38 states ban inexperienced drivers from texting while driving.
- 20 states prohibit school bus drivers from using a cell phone when driving.
- In some states, using a cell phone while driving is a secondary offense.
- Secondary enforcement means an officer has to pull a driver over for another offense. If the driver has also violated the secondary offense, they can be ticketed for that as well.
For more information on each state’s distracted driving laws regarding cell phone use while driving, visit the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) website.
Washington DUI-E law
A recent distracted driving law took effect July 23, 2017 in the state of Washington. It’s called the Washington DUI-E law. This legislation puts the using electronics while driving under the category of DUI. It cites drivers for DUI-E (driving under the influence of electronics).
Information related to distracted driving be found on these pages of our website:
- SR22 DUI Insurance
- Non Owner SR22 vs SR22 Insurance
- How to get lower insurance rates
- States we offer SR22
Distracted driving penalties
Penalties for driving while using a cell phones or other electronics can include:
- Points against your driving record
- Even jail time for repeat offenders
If you cause an accident resulting from distracted driving, you can be cited for other more serious offenses, such as reckless driving. Depending on your driving record, your license can be suspended after a distracted driving offense. Talk with a licensed UltraCar Insurance agent about license reinstatement with an SR22 insurance filing or a non owner SR22 insurance filing in your state.
This article was last updated on February 15th, 2020 by UltraCar Insurance