Back-to-School Driver Safety
Distracted Driving FAQs


What is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the
primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the driver, passenger, and
bystander safety. Texting is the most alarming: You’re 23 times more likely to
crash if you text while driving.

I'm a pretty good driver. Can't some people text or talk on the phone and
drive safely?

No, they can't. Research indicates that the burden of talking on a cell phone –
even if it's hands-free – saps the brain of 39 percent of the energy it would
ordinarily devote to safe driving. Using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving. Drivers who use a hand-held device are four times more likely to get into a crash serious enough to cause injury.


Sending or reading one text is pretty quick, unlike a phone conversation – wouldn't that be okay?

Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves manual, visual, and cognitive distraction simultaneously. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that's like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded. It's extraordinarily dangerous.


Resources for Parents


State Laws

Make sure you know your State laws on cell and text use while driving.


Distracted Drivers in School Zones

Learn about the types and extent of distracted drivingin school zones in this national report.


Faces of Distracted Driving

Hear the stories. Get the message. Share it: Distracted driving has serious consequences.


Get Involved

Find out what you can do to stop distracted driving as a parent.


Get the Latest News

Learn about DOT’s efforts to combat distracted driving.