As of this writing, Arizona is one of only two states in the country with no type of law against texting and driving. 46 states and the District of Columbia ban texting and driving outright. Texas and Missouri ban it for “novice drivers.” See the report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS).
We’re not sure how long you have to have been driving to qualify as a “novice.” Regardless, texting and driving are hazardous for both novice and experienced drivers.
Arizona and Montana are the only two states that have no law on the books banning texting and driving. According to U.S. Census data, Arizona has almost 7 million people. Montana has just over 1 million inhabitants. Comparable population states like Tennessee and Massachusetts have laws against texting and driving. Those states, along with 46 other states, recognize the danger and have acted. Enacting some law regarding texting and driving would go a long way towards increasing the safety of Arizona drivers. Texting while driving a vehicle is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Crash risk increases significantly; as much as four times higher when a driver is using a cell phone.
According to the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Arizona has a “danger” rating due to gaps in recommended optimal laws. Arizona is one of only five states with an overall “risk” rating, due to a lack of adoption of the primary safety laws.
We have laws regarding driving while intoxicated. There’s no doubt these laws have saved lives. DUI enforcement helps keep the driving public safe.
Why wouldn’t we do the same regarding texting and driving? Cellphones are a part of daily life. Many of us can’t imagine a life without them. No one wants to lose that life because of a cell phone. No text message is that important.
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a driver that was texting, the Leader Law Firm for a free case consultation.
UPDATE: June 2017: Arizona passed a limited texting and driving law, banning those who have had their license six months or less, from texting and driving.