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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 21, 2013 at 9:12 am

Heck, lets just ban them all and let God sort it out :\

June 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

I agree with Bobby, auto makers should be required by the Federal Highway Safety Commission to install a device in all autos which prohibit the reception of signals to any communication device in the front seat of the vehicle with the exception to emergency vehicles.

June 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

Who is the tenth State?

June 21, 2013 at 9:05 am

Note which states still won't enact laws like this.....those full of "rugged indivualists" who want to do whatever they want whenever they want to, and don't give a cuss how it affects anyone else. Look at the kind of people they elect, too (eg. Rick Perry). Embarrasing and regressive.

June 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

Why can't we have some kind of chip placed in all cars produced, abroad and here, that will block all cell phone usage while the engine is running.. The Technology is there for this to happen. Easy fix.

June 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

It's about time that Florida joined all of the other states that have banned texting.

June 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

The seat belt laws as an easy target for the police academy yet illegal texting while driving is not enough. illegal to be holding a mobile phone while the key is in the ignition should be enough for cops to write a ticket and prevent a mobile phone DUI.

June 17, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Doesn't all this fall under "Unsafe Operation of a Motor Vehicle" which I believe all states already have on the books.

June 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Lets not stop with texting. Cell phone use by drivers with out Bluetooth should be outlawed too.

June 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Hey Mike: Let me know if you ever run for political office. You've got my vote! Texting while driving is imbecilic. Your method of elimination of the problem is (excuse the pun) Right On Target!