The Toughest
Distracted
Driving Laws
Ranked By State

Over time it has become a lot easier for drivers to get distracted while on the road. Because of this, states have been implementing laws to reduce the risk of distracted driving related accidents. We scored each state on 11 metrics related to their distracted driving accident statistics, legislation, and penalties, to give us a ranking of the strictest and most lenient states when it comes to distracted driving.

Map
Toughest


State


Ranking
i

Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers

No. of distracted crash fatalities per 100k drivers weighted by the number of drivers registered in that state.
i

Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers

No. of distracted crash injuries per 100k drivers weighted by the number of drivers registered in that state.
i

Hand-held ban

Law prohibiting use of handheld devices while driving.
i

Phone ban - School bus driver

Law prohibiting bus drivers from using a cellphone.
i

Phone ban - Novice drivers

Law prohibiting drivers <18 from using a cellphone while driving.
i

Overall texting ban

Law prohibiting texting while driving.
i

Texting ban - School bus

Law prohibiting bus drivers from texting while driving.
i

Texting ban - Novices

Law prohibiting drivers <18 from texting while driving.
i

Minimum fine, $

Minimum fines for offenses.
i

Higher fine for repeat offence

Minimum fines for repeated offense.
i

Further penalties

Loss of license, or jail time.
Overall
score

/100

Rhode Island

1
84.3
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  7.6
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.5
Further penalties:  None

Maine

2
82.2
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.6
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  118.7
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  150
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.5
Further penalties:  None

Connecticut

3
80.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.3
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  127.9
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  150
Higher fine for repeat offence:  3.3
Further penalties:  None

Vermont

4
80.1
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.2
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  50.2
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  125
Higher fine for repeat offence:  3
Further penalties:  None

Illinois

5
74.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.4
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  118.1
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <19
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  75
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1.7
Further penalties:  None

California

6
74.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.4
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  153.1
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  162
Higher fine for repeat offence:  0.7
Further penalties:  None

Massachusetts

7
73.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  119
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  5
Further penalties:  None

Nevada

8
73.6
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.5
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  28.3
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  50
Higher fine for repeat offence:  5
Further penalties:  None

Georgia

9
73.6
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  51.6
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  50
Higher fine for repeat offence:  3
Further penalties:  None

Minnesota

10
73.3
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  122.3
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  50
Higher fine for repeat offence:  5.5
Further penalties:  None

West Virginia

11
72.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.2
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  18.2
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  3
Further penalties:  None

New Jersey

12
71.9
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.4
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  144.4
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  300
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.7
Further penalties:  None

Washington D.C.

13
71.1
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.6
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  210.3
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Maryland

14
70.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  7.4
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  75
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.3
Further penalties:  None

Washington

15
68.7
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  74.2
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  136
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1.7
Further penalties:  None

Tennessee

16
68.6
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  131.6
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  50
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

New Hampshire

17
68.3
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.7
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  100.9
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Delaware

18
68.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.1
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  154.4
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  3
Further penalties:  None

Arkansas

19
65.7
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.6
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  167
Hand-held ban:  Learner
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  250
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Hawaii

20
64.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  2.5
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  64.6
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  250
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Oregon

21
62.7
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  214.2
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  260
Higher fine for repeat offence:  7.7
Further penalties:  None

Ohio

22
60.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.6
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  33.3
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  150
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

New York

23
59.9
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  207
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  125
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Virginia

24
57.9
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  106.2
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  125
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Louisiana

25
57.6
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  3.1
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  190.1
Hand-held ban:  Learner
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  500
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Michigan

26
57.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  117
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Utah

27
55.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.7
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  180.9
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  750
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  Jail time

Nebraska

28
54.3
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  188
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  200
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.5
Further penalties:  None

New Mexico

29
53.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  8.7
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  136.9
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  25
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Florida

30
52.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.4
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  250.9
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Yes
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  30
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Wyoming

31
52.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.7
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  85.7
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  75
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

South Dakota

32
51.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  122.4
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  Misdemeanour

Colorado

33
51.5
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.2
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  12.4
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  50
Higher fine for repeat offence:  4
Further penalties:  None

Mississippi

34
51.2
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.4
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  202.6
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Iowa

35
50.5
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  99.9
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  30
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

North Dakota

36
49.1
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  111.3
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Kentucky

37
46.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  4
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  81
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  25
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2
Further penalties:  None

Alaska

38
46.6
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  6.8
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  0
Higher fine for repeat offence:  0
Further penalties:  Misdemeanour

Wisconsin

39
45.3
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.2
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  140.4
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  30
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.5
Further penalties:  None

Kansas

40
45.2
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  4.5
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  91.4
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  Learner
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  60
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Arizona

41
45.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  103.5
Hand-held ban:  Yes
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  No
Texting ban - School bus:  No
Texting ban - Novices:  No
Minimum fine, $:  112
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1.8
Further penalties:  None

Pennsylvania

42
44.0
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  134.2
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  50
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Indiana

43
43.7
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.6
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  155.1
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <21
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  0
Higher fine for repeat offence:  0
Further penalties:  None

North Carolina

44
42.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  250.9
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  100
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Idaho

45
41.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  109.1
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  85
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Oklahoma

46
40.6
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  132.5
Hand-held ban:  Learner
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  no minimum stated
Higher fine for repeat offence:  0
Further penalties:  Loss of license

Alabama

47
38.7
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.2
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  180
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  25
Higher fine for repeat offence:  3
Further penalties:  None

South Carolina

48
33.9
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.8
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  152.4
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  Yes
Texting ban - School bus:  Covered
Texting ban - Novices:  Covered
Minimum fine, $:  25
Higher fine for repeat offence:  1
Further penalties:  None

Montana

49
23.4
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  0.7
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  49.1
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  No
Texting ban - School bus:  No
Texting ban - Novices:  No
Minimum fine, $:  0
Higher fine for repeat offence:  0
Further penalties:  None

Texas

50
18.3
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.9
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  229.6
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  Yes if pass <17
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  <18
Overall texting ban:  No
Texting ban - School bus:  Yes if pass <17
Texting ban - Novices:  <18
Minimum fine, $:  62
Higher fine for repeat offence:  2.4
Further penalties:  None

Missouri

51
8.8
Distracted fatalitles rate per 100k drivers:  1.7
Distracted injury rate per 100k drivers:  167.6
Hand-held ban:  No
Phone ban - School bus driver:  No
Phone ban - Novice drivers:  No
Overall texting ban:  No
Texting ban - School bus:  No
Texting ban - Novices:  <21
Minimum fine, $:  0
Higher fine for repeat offence:  0
Further penalties:  None