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Distracted Driving

Girl talking on her cell phone while in her car.

Distracted driving can be a disaster

You may have already heard, but in case you haven’t: it’s unsafe to text or talk on your phone while driving. You need to give your full attention to the road and the other drivers. Even if you can text without looking at the screen, it’s not still safe. Your full attention needs to be given to your car, and both hands should be on the steering wheel.

In 2007, five girls who had recently graduated from high school were killed in New York when their SUV crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. The driver’s cell phone records indicate someone was texting in the minutes and seconds before the crash happened.

Seven states and the District of Columbia have made texting while driving illegal, and other states are trying to pass similar laws. Also, 17 states completely banned cell phone use for teens and new drivers when driving, even talking with a headset. This means you must pull over and stop the car to make or receive a phone call or to text.

Learn about state cell phone laws.

If you live in a state where cell phone use is allowed while driving, remember to use your headset. It will keep your hands free so that you can quickly respond to anything that may happen on the road.

What should I do if my friends are texting while driving?

If you’re a passenger in a car and the driver is texting, offer to text for the driver. If he or she is texting a mutual friend — or even a parent — it shouldn’t be a big deal for you to type the text and read aloud the responses. Don’t be afraid to say something — your life may depend on it.


Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013