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40 states now ban texting in cars

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
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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June 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Read the article in People Magazine of the man electrocuted; lost his face because of burns; met another burn victim in the hospital; married the female burn victim. The female burn victim was SEVERELY burned in a vehicle fire from an accident she had while she was TEXTING!! Wake up America!! DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!!

June 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I think this is just one more aspect of government invention where it is not wanted or needed. our fore fathers have fought for the right for us to text and drive. we fought the nazis over this in world war 1. i for one will not allow foreign intervention involved in all of this while sacrificing our precious bodily fluids. it is our divine right to text and drive.

June 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Glad they have the laws, first of all I have never talked on the Cell Phone while driving maybe fast at a Red Light, and I have never Texted anyone because I don't know how to do it anyway. LOL HA!

Dave Meister
June 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Texting needs to be banned, I've never seriously even tried to text while driving. It's ridiculous how much attention it takes away from being alert enough to drive. However, I hope Texas never bans talking on the phone (or bluetooth) while driving. I like being able to talk and drive on the back roads where there isn't much traffic.

JP Barrett
June 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I think it should be illegal to use a cell phone for any purpose, especially WHILE TAIL-GAITING ANOTHER VEHICLE.

Edith Moogk
June 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I agree with this law,I think you should stop talking on a
cell phone illegal also. If a school bus driver is caught
using a cell while driving we can be fined $100.00 dollars
and could lose our cdl also. so stop talking while you are
under the wheel. Pull off the road if you have to make a call.

June 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Here is a way to stop people from texting while driving. It is a simple addition to a smart phone. I believe there should be an app required on all cell phones that can sense when the phone is in the immediate proximity of a running vehicle's electronic engine controls (inside the vehicle). If the user attempts to text while the engine is running and the car is in gear, the smart phone fires one round of .22 caliber hollow point ammunition into the chest of the user. That way, the imbecile will accomplish the same result as texting while driving but without making anybody else a victim. Of course the vehicle would apply the brakes automatically whenever this feature is used so as to stop the vehicle without crashing. Now we have improved the gene pool, eliminated a threat and done humanity a favor!!!!!

June 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm

How are you going, to enforce it. You have to be almost upon someone, to see them texing

June 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

It's about TIME! This should have been into action from the get go! It's absolutely insane to text while driving, let along even cell phone talking. Shame on the politicians for even allowing texting & driving to happen from the start. Maybe if they lost someone this way that they cared about it would have been completely different. Anyways we need (the Law) to be VERY strict on texting & driving (any texting at all) meaning sitting at a red light, stop sign etc. Should not be allowed to touch phone at all, while driving!

June 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Throw 'em in the slammer and throw away the key!