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.