Currently there are 5 states, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands which ban handheld cell phone use while driving. So far, auto insurance underwriters do not penalize drivers by raising their rates for this type of citation, considering it a minor violation.
Tickets for driving while using a cell phone currently vary in cost from $20 to $120 each. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has analyzed accident statistics for cell phone use while driving over the last few years and recently posted its results. For the last full year of recording results, there were 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries per year attributed to cell phone use while driving.
Comparing the degree of impairment cell phone use causes to judgment, reaction time, and perception of danger to that of consuming alcohol, chatting with your BFF is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent. It is just be a matter of time before public outcry will overcome the influence of the cell phone lobby and make the punishment for driving under the influence of your Motorola equivalent to that of a DUI offense. Now is the best time to modify your risky cell phone behavior before your auto insurance rates take a hit or you become another NHTSA statistic.