Texting while driving occurs when a person uses their cell phone to engage in text messaging while driving a motor vehicle. This can include actions such as:

  • Reading texts
  • Writing messages
  • Showing messages to other passengers
  • Reading other passenger’s texts
  • Searching through text messages to find a particular text
  • Various other actions linked to text messaging

Why Is Texting and Driving Discouraged?

Texting while driving is discouraged because there is a tendency for the driver to become severely distracted when doing so. The average text during driving can take the driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds, and sometimes even longer. This is often enough to result in a crash or accident on the road.

Many states include the act of texting while driving under their distracted driving laws. Some states prohibit smartphone use while driving altogether.

Is Texting and Driving Prohibited in All States?

Texting while driving is not yet illegal in all states. A texting while driving state chart can help you determine which states currently enforce texting while driving laws. Penalties for texting while driving can include some criminal fines and/or short jail time, depending on the factors in each case. For instance, if someone was seriously injured as a result of the violation, the penalties may increase. Repeat offenses will usually result in greater fines or jail time.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Texting and Driving Violations?

Texting laws are somewhat new and may still be subject to reform in some states. You may wish to hire a qualified traffic violation lawyer if you need assistance with texting laws, or if you are facing a violation for texting and driving. Your attorney can advise you on your rights and can ensure that you receive proper legal representation during any court meetings.