Stricter legislation regarding electronic device use behind the wheel needs to be enacted, the National Safety Council (NSC) said in a statement to lawmakers across the United States.
The safety organization is pushing for a full ban on electronic devices for drivers and is reminding motorists to pay more attention during Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which occurs during April.
"The National Safety Council is encouraged to see legislators addressing distracted driving at the state level, but more work needs to be done," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, NSC president and CEO, in a statement. "No state currently has a law that completely bans all electronic-device use behind the wheel, and the Council believes a full ban – including a ban on hands-free electronic devices – is the most effective way to prevent distracted driving crashes."
Data the NSC collected indicates that while many states have implemented partial distracted driving laws, others are "woefully behind" in enacting regulations. A recent report which examined laws in all 50 states and Washington D.C. shows the difference in laws.
Four states, including Florida, Arizona, Montana and Missouri – lack laws that would ban either texting for all drivers and a total cellphone ban for teens and inexperienced drivers. Another 16 states only passed legislation in one of those areas. Since the report was completed last year, New Mexico, Texas and Iowa have joined 27 other states and D.C. in passing legislation in both areas, according to the NSC.
"It is only by collecting and analyzing crash data that we can truly understand the impact of distracted driving our roadways," Hersman said.
NSC's website has additional information and resources available including posters, fact sheets, infographics and social media posts.