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The State of Distracted Driving

Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds — that’s enough time to drive the length of a football field at 55 mph. This dangerous problem claimed more than 3,142 lives in 2019 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In honor of April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, consider these facts next time you’re tempted to text, make a call or eat on the road.

Distracted Driving Laws

Many states have distracted driving laws that prohibit talking on a cellphone, texting and other distractions while in the driver’s seat. In fact, 25 states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thirty-six states ban all cellphone use by novice drivers and 18 states ban cellphone use for school bus drivers. Nearly all — 48 — states prohibit text messaging for all drivers.

Take a look at the list of our eight Farm Bureau Financial Services states to see what laws are in place to combat distracted driving.

All Cellphone Bans

Arizona: Yes for school bus drivers. Yes for drivers under 18 with provisional or learner licenses.

Iowa: Yes for drivers with learner, restricted or intermediate licenses.

Kansas: Yes for drivers with learner or intermediate licenses.

Minnesota: Yes for school bus drivers. Yes for drivers under 18 with learner or provisional licenses.

Nebraska: Yes for school bus drivers. Yes for drivers under 18 with learner or provisional licenses.

New Mexico: Yes for drivers with learner or provisional licenses.

South Dakota: Yes for drivers with learner or provisional licenses.

Utah: Yes for school bus drivers. Yes for drivers under 18.

Handheld Cellphone Bans

In Minnesota and South Dakota, drivers are prohibited from using hand-held cellphones while driving.

Text Messaging Bans

All eight Farm Bureau states have a texting ban in place for all drivers.

Distractions are everywhere, but these simple strategies can help keep you and those around you safe on the road. You can even help us increase safe driving awareness by signing the Farm Bureau Financial Services Safe Driving Pledge. Vow to avoid distractions while driving, today!

Are You a Safe Driver?

Take our interactive quiz and test your knowledge. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to learn about programs we offer to reward safe driving.

Infographic: The State of Distracted Driving