Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Texting while driving is deadly and never worth it
  • Since 2004, states have been adopting the texting ban
  • Only four states do not have a complete texting ban
  • Texting bans are difficult but not impossible to enforce
  • D.C. has given out the most texting tickets in the US

Distracted driving is becoming an increasingly bigger safety issue in our country. Sending a text message, viewing a Snapchat, “liking” a Facebook post, checking the score of the game…are all becoming more important than watching the road.

People seem to ignore the fact that it only takes one glance down to cause a fatal car crash.

Drivers who look at their phones are 23 times more likely to cause a crash.

Fortunately, those in legislative positions have been making efforts to end these deadly habits in America for over a decade now.

A lesser consequence for text while driving is a citation which could result in higher insurance rates.

Could you lower your car insurance payments? Simply enter your zip code to find out!

Table of Contents

The Texting Ban

texting-ban-timelineWashington DC set the first complete Texting While Driving Ban in 2004. It took three years, but finally in the summer of 2007 Washington state passed the same law.

Each year following 2007, two or more states have joined in this legal stance. Now, there are only four states within our country that do not have complete texting bans in place. See the timeline below for when states adopted the Texting Ban.

Enforcing the Ban

Unfortunately, an act becoming illegal doesn’t mean people won’t do it. There has to be a likely consequence.

By enforcing the ban, the hope is people learn “It Can Wait” as the national campaign states, before they hurt themselves or someone else.

Texting behind the wheel is extremely hard to catch and prove. Especially with drivers trying to hide it, becoming even more dangerous on the roads…moving the phone lower and looking away even longer. But citations are being given.

Citations by State

bar-graph-texting-citations-by-stateOnly 23 of the 46 states that have a texting ban have this category of traffic citation totaled and on public record. Below is a graph showing the total citations given since the law became official in each state.

5 States with the Most Texting Tickets

top-5-texting-ticket-states-on-mapAlthough it’s difficult to see when someone is using their phone behind the wheel, law enforcement has successfully made almost 200,000 people pay for it.

Below you can see the top five areas of our country that take this law very seriously. If you text while driving in one of these parts of the US, expect a consequence — hopefully it’s a fine and not a fatal crash.

#5 – New York

Coming in the top 5 is our 4th most populated state with just under 20 million inhabitants spread across over 54,000 square miles, New York. This state “that never sleeps” handed out 11,259 citations for texting since 2009. How many of those do you think were taxi drivers?

#4 – Nevada

The state in 4th for giving out the most texting tickets is Nevada. Only ranked 35th by population with under 3 million residents, it’s impressive Nevada was able to give out 12,321 citations in a relatively short amount of time–since 2012.

#3 – Delaware

The jump to 3rd brings almost a double in the number of texting tickets. Giving out 23,008 of these citations since 2011 is Delaware. It may only be 30 miles wide and the 2nd smallest state in the nation, but it’s a mighty force in the face of the texting ban.

#2 – California

Coming in 2nd with 26,681 total texting tickets since 2008 is the US’s most populated state, California. With an 840 mile coastline, this state has a lot of road to cover, but like its neighbor, Nevada, California takes texting while driving very seriously.

#1 – Washington D.C.

The first to adopt the texting ban and proving they mean it, is our nation’s capital. Although smaller than any state, at only about 68 square miles, D.C. won this ranking by leaps, bounds, and some flashing lights. In a decade, D.C. gave out a whopping 87,251 tickets for texting behind the wheel.

Thanks to law enforcement in these five areas, over 150,000 individuals were pulled over who thought looking at their phone was more important than where they were directing their two ton piece of machinery.

Don’t wait for a ticket, or much worse, causing a fatal collision to learn that your text can wait.

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