Texting and Driving Tickets: Facts and Statistics

Texting and driving tickets can be costly for teens and parents. Parents can be hit with large fines to pay and higher insurance premiums. Teens on the other hand can get strikes on their driving record, and in some cases lose their driving privileges all together.

How do you keep teens from texting while driving? One approach many states are taking is to make laws more stringent in hopes of reducing teen motor vehicle accidents deaths and injuries.

Did you know that the leading cause of death for teens is auto accidents?

This is a very clear call to action for lawmakers and parents to educate teens about safe driving. However, parents and lawmakers need to face the facts. Mobile devices are pretty much another appendage for most teens, even while driving. This has led to an epidemic among teens called distracted driving.

Distracted Driving More Prevalent Among Teens

Distracted driving is evident among all drivers, but definitely more prevalent among teens. In fact, distracted driving accounts for 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 15 percent of all auto collision injuries.

In 2015, nearly 3,500 people were killed and there were over 390,000 injuries due to distracted driving. Nine percent of teen drivers were involved in fatal car crashes that year as well.

This has put a target on distracted driving for state government agencies, leading to a stern stance on the issue. One of the most dangerous they have found is texting while driving.

Texting While Driving Dangers for Teens

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving for teens. It can take a teen’s attention from the road for nearly five seconds. A lot of hazards and dangers can present in just five seconds. For instance, a car traveling at 55 miles per hour will cover the length of a football field in that time.

Other scary teen texting while driving statistics and facts are:

  • Texting while driving is responsible for 11 teen deaths per day.
  • Teens are four times more likely to be in texting and driving car accidents than adults.
  • Texting increases time not paying attention to the roadway by 400 percent.
  • One in every four accidents is caused by texting while driving.
  • 94 percent of teens know that texting while driving is dangerous.

How Do I Keep My Teen Safe From Texting While Driving Dangers?

Educate them more about texting and driving dangers. Have you had the drinking and driving discussion with your teen? You most likely have. Well, a study found that texting decreased a driver’s reaction time by 35 percent. Drinking and driving only reduced reaction time by 12 percent.

But since 94 percent of teens already know the dangers, how can we keep them safe? This is where state lawmakers come in. Most teens will not drink and drive due to the penalties. After all, they could lose their license.

Well, taking a similar approach, state governments are clamping down on teen texting and driving. The rising costs in most texting and driving tickets are potentially the deterrent needed.

Teen Texting While Driving Laws

Nearly all states have issued a ban on texting while driving for all ages. Montana and Arizona are the only two states without a texting ban while driving. Missouri is the only state that bans teens from texting and driving, but not adults.

In fact, the use of any mobile device by teens is prohibited in 38 states. This could prevent teens from all distracted driving dangers, not only texting. If you live in Alaska, texting while driving can cost you up to $10,000, and a sentence of one year in prison for your teen.

Texting Laws and Penalties by State

  • Alabama: There is a hand-held ban for teen drivers 16 to 17 years old. There is a texting ban for all drivers with a $25 fine and two driver license demerit points.
  • Alaska: Ban on texting while driving for all drivers with up to a $10,000 fine and one-year prison sentence.
  • Arizona: Currently no law, but a ban on cell phone use for teens 16 and 17 years old will go into effect June 30, 2018.
  • Arkansas: Texting ban for all drivers with a $100 fine and up to 10 days in prison. Total cell phone ban for teens under 18 years old.
  • California: Texting ban for all drivers with a $20 fine. There is a cell phone ban for teens under 18 years old.
  • Colorado: Texting while driving ban for all drivers with a $50 fine and one license demerit point. There is also a cell phone ban for teens under 18.
  • Connecticut: Texting ban for all drivers with a $100 fine and total cell phone ban for drivers 18 and younger.
  • Delaware: Texting ban for all drivers with a $50 fine and total cell phone ban for learner’s permit and intermediate licensed drivers.
  • District of Columbia: Text ban for all drivers with a $100 fine and one license demerit point. There is also a total cell phone ban for those with learner’s permits.
  • Florida: Total texting while driving ban with a $30 fine for the first offense, and $60 fine for the second offense.
  • Georgia: Texting ban for all drivers with a $150 fine. There is a total cell phone ban for drivers younger than 18.
  • Hawaii: Texting ban for all drivers with a $250 fine. There is also a total cell phone ban for teens under 18 years of age.
  • Idaho: There us a total texting while driving ban with a fine of $81.50.
  • Illinois: Texting ban for all drivers with a fine of $75. Drivers under 19 years old are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Indiana: Texting while driving ban for all drivers with a $35.50 fine and a ban on all cell phone use for drivers under 21.
  • Iowa: Texting ban for all drivers with a $30 fine. Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders are banned from using their cell phones while driving.
  • Kansas: Texting ban for all drivers with a $60 fine. Total cell phone ban for learner’s permit and intermediate drivers.
  • Kentucky: Texting ban for all drivers with $25 fine. Teens under 18 years old have a total cell phone use ban as well.
  • Louisiana: Total ban for texting while driving with a $175 fine with other restrictions on hand-held and cell phone use.
  • Maine: Texting ban for all drivers with a $200 to $500 fine. Learner’s permit and intermediate drivers are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Maryland: Texting ban for all drivers with a $500 fine. Teens under 18 are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Massachusetts: Texting ban for all drivers with a $100 fine. Drivers under 18 banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Michigan: Texting ban for all drivers with a  $100 fine. Learner’s permit and Intermediate drivers 1 and 2 are prohibited from all cell phone use.
  • Minnesota: Texting while driving ban for all drivers with a $135 fine. Newly licensed drivers with less than 12 months on the road are banned from all cell phone use.
  • Mississippi: Texting ban for all drivers with a $500 fine. No ban for total cell phone use.
  • Missouri: Texting while driving ban for drivers under 21 years of age with a $25.50 fine.
  • Montana: No texting or distracted driving ban currently enforced.
  • Nebraska: Texting ban for all drivers with a $200 fine and three license demerit points. There is also a total cell phone ban for drivers under 18.
  • Nevada: Texting ban for all drivers with a $50 fine.
  • New Hampshire: Texting ban for all drivers with a $100 fine. Teens under 18 are banned from all cell phone use.
  • New Jersey: Texting ban with a $100 fine. Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • New Mexico: Texting ban for all drivers with a $25 fine for first offense and $50 for second offense. There is also a ban of all cell phone use for learner’s permit and intermediate drivers.
  • New York: Texting ban for all drivers with a $235 fine and 3 demerit license points.
  • North Carolina: Texting ban for all drivers with a fine of $100. Drivers under 18 banned from using cell phones while driving.
  • North Dakota: Texting ban with a $100 fine. Teens under 18 are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Ohio: Texting ban with a $150 fine and total cell phone use ban while driving for teens under 18.
  • Oklahoma: Texting ban for all drivers with a $100 fine.
  • Oregon: texting while driving ban for all drivers with a $250 fine. Drivers under 18 are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Pennsylvania: Texting ban for all drivers with a $50 fine.
  • Rhode Island: Texting ban for all drivers with a $85 fine. No cell phone use for any driver under 18.
  • South Carolina: Texting ban with a $25 fine.
  • South Dakota: Texting while driving ban for all drivers with a fine of $100. Learner’s permit and intermediate licensed drivers are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Tennessee: Texting ban for all drivers with a fine of $50. There is also a total cell phone use ban for learner’s permit and intermediate license holders.
  • Texas: Texting ban with a fine between $25 and $99. Drivers under 18 are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Utah: Texting ban for all drivers with a $750 fine and up to 90 days in prison sentence. Teens under 18 are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Vermont: Texting ban with a fine of $156 and 2 demerit license points. Drivers under 18 are banned from all cell phone use.
  • Virginia: Texting ban with a $20 fine. All cell phone use is banned for drivers under 18.
  • Washington: Texting ban for all drivers with a $124 fine. Learner’s permit and intermediate drivers are banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • West Virginia: Texting ban with a $100 fine. Teens under 18 banned from all cell phone use while driving.
  • Wisconsin: Texting ban with a $20 to $400 fine and 4 demerit license points. All cell phone use is banned for learner’s permit and intermediate drivers.
  • Wyoming: Texting ban for all drivers with a $75 fine.

Texting while driving can be costly for both you and your teen. Tickets can be hundreds of dollars, if not thousands if you live in Alaska. Your insurance premiums on your teen will increase as well.

With a combination of parent education (maybe a safe driving contract), technology (like Focus by TeenDrive) and stricter laws, texting while driving very well could decrease. The thought of losing the freedoms of driving may very well be the push teens need to turn their phone or to silent when hitting the road. Does your teen text and drive?

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