Evaluation of Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving laws vary across the States in how they are written and how they can be enforced. Some laws specify particular behaviors, such as reading, writing, or sending a text message, but don’t include the many other actions that could be completed on a hand-held device, such as dialing a phone number, searching the internet, or emailing. Laws like this require enforcement to differentiate between particular actions, a requirement identified as challenging by States. This project will analyze distracted driving laws to identify clusters of law types, and use information available in the existing literature to describe law enforcement experiences enforcing these types of laws. This project will also Conduct a survey of law enforcement attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, motivations, and experiences associated with enforcement of the distracted driving law types identified. Due to the increasing number of law enforcement agencies that are mobilizing to enforce State legislation restricting hand-held phone and texting use, and the apparent challenges faced by States to enforce such laws, providing a comprehensive picture of the laws across the States, including the strategies used to overcome challenges, will help produce feasible enforcement actions and stimulate the issuance of citations for drivers who engage in distracted driving.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $132859
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Byrd, Mary

    • Performing Organizations:

      Preusser Research Group, Incorporated

      7100 Main Street
      Trumbull, CT  United States  06611
    • Principal Investigators:

      Byrd, Mary

    • Start Date: 20150928
    • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Distracted driving
    • Subprogram: Law Enforcement

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01631633
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2215C00016
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Mar 31 2017 4:13PM