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40 states now ban texting in cars

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Hawaii has enacted a law making it the 40th state in the nation to ban texting while driving a car. The law, which goes into effect July 1, is the first anti-texting law passed this year.

Laws against texting while driving dramatically increased in 2009, when AAA started a campaign to have the practice outlawed in all 50 states. Prior to 2009, just 18 states had laws against texting while driving. Florida is expected to ban the practice soon, leaving just Arizona, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas with no laws against texting while driving.

Those who text while driving are six times more likely to crash their cars than those who aren't, according to a 2009 University of Utah study.  A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that 35 percent of those surveyed admitted to reading a text within the last 30 days and 27 percent said they had sent a text or email within the prior month. That same surveyed showed that 86 percent of those surveyed support laws against reading, typing, or sending a text or email while driving, and 95 percent consider it unacceptable to send a text or email while driving.

Do you send text messages from your cellphone while driving? Does your state ban the practice?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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59 Comments
steven carr
July 06, 2013 at 10:06 am

My niece hit a car while texting, even though she lied to the police and her ins. agent. She spent a couple days in the hospital too. Did she learn her lesson? NO! Another accident within a months time. Now she is taking an three year RN course in Texas, where there are no laws against Texting while driving. Good luck to her and every other driver in Texas. She has totaled two cars in CA, I hope she has learned her lession. She isn't even 21 yet.

Nancy D
July 02, 2013 at 2:07 am

Texting should be banned in ALL states, along with talking on the phone, or Bluetooth in the new cars. This all takes your attention away from driving. Please just pull over and return the call.

jan
June 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

Hopefully that is a typo and Roger actually means the texting mode should be automatically DIS-abled when gps indicates the ar is moving. Enabling it wouldn't help fix any of the issues. However where does that leave others in the car who aren't driving but would want to use their phones? I strongly support laws against texting while driving but in the end it comes down to personal responsibility for individuals to control their actions because regardless of the safety laws in place for any individual state people are still not observing the laws for their own safety by continued texting while driving, driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol and failing to wear seatbelts or use carseats, motorcyle helmets, etc. regardless of the laws.

Lonnie Williams
June 28, 2013 at 11:36 am

Well here we go again being at the back of the line with our laws heck no you don't need to talk text or use the phone in any way till you pull over, realy it can wait. Just like our outdated laws against cannabis were the last in line to serve the publics best intrust. Please think about what laws you need to work on and witch need to be up dated.

Kris
June 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

Only 40 states? It should be BANNED in ALL states.

Rhonda Fortner
June 28, 2013 at 10:53 am

A woman in a parking lot started backing up and we had already backed and stopped. I told my husband the woman was on the phone and not watching and she hit us. Everything happened so fast that we did not get a chance to move or hit the horn. Then she got out and blamed us. She hit our right rear quarter panel so even though she blamed us the insurance knew better.
My daughter had stopped at a red traffic light and the boy behind her was on the phone, texting, and rear ended her mustang she had just paid off. He hit her at 45 mph, broke her seat, flung her forward and then backwards, injured her neck so badly that the doctor told her she'd always have pain. The boy's parents had Allstate, my daughter had Nationwide. She should have had her car replaced at the value of the car that was destroyed. She got very little for her medical bills and nothing else.
Pull over and text or talk before it hurts someone if it's that important.

Margaret Credeur
June 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

I think texting while driving should be a ban in all states.
Also talking while driving.If you want to talk or text your
car should be parked.

Margaret Credeur

cheryl dunn
June 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

I WAS REARENDED AT A RED LIGHT BY A WOMAN WHO WAS ON HER CELL
PHONE, I GOT A HERNIATED DISC FROM IT, I AM A 3 TIME WORLD
CHAMPION POWERLIFTER, THANKS TO HER I CAN'T LIFT ANY MORE !!
SO I AM AGAINST ANY CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING, IF IT'S
SO IMPORTANT THEN PULL OVER !!!!

Roger Adams
June 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

1st.Please,everyone stop picking on the police!
2nd.The gps in everyones cel can be fixed to were if you are moving,texting is enabled!3rd.All cel phone companys read and apply #2 and then everyone will be better off!

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