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7/5/2013 - Florida, Hawaii pass distracted driving legislation

Two more states have passed laws related to distracted driving.

Add two more states to the ever increasing number that are banning motorists from sending text messages behind the wheel.

Recently, governors in Hawaii and Florida signed legislation that effectively prohibits all drivers from sending or receiving text messages while they're operating a vehicle. This now enables traffic officials to pull over any vehicle if they're suspected of doing the activity, which is believed to be responsible for a substantial number of auto insurance claims each year.

Ray LaHood, Secretary for the Department of Transportation, noted that the respective legislatures' decision to prohibit motorists from using their handheld phones for texting purposes is a positive step toward the goal of reducing the effects of distracted driving.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are now 41 states that ban motorists from texting and 11 states that prohibit drivers from using handheld devices for any reason.

Numerous studies have linked texting and driving with an increased risk for being involved in an accident. Yet despite this evidence, polls have shown that many people continue to send text messages, knowing full well what can happen.

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