The prevalence of cellular phones, new research, and publicized crashes has started many debates related to the role cellphones play in driver distraction. This chart details state cellular phone use and texting while driving laws.
- Hand-held cellphone use ban: 20 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cellphones while driving.
- All cellphone ban: No state bans all cellphone use for all drivers, but 38 states and D.C. ban all cellphone use by novice or teen drivers, and 21 states and D.C. prohibit any cellphone use for school bus drivers.
- Text messaging ban: 48 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
- Missouri prohibits text messaging by novice or teen drivers.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2019.
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Source: Source Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2017.
Governor’s Highway Safety Association
* Utah considers speaking on a cellphone, without a hands-free device, to be an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).
** Maine has a law that makes driving while distracted a traffic infraction. 29-A M.R.S.A. Sec. 2118.
*** Listed as a part of contributing factors