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Distracted Driving

It's more than taking your eyes off the road.

Distracted driving is one of the fastest growing safety issues on the roads today. Nationally 2,841 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018 (most current data available). Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves - they are a danger to everyone on the road. Distraction is a common contributing factor in most motor vehicle crashes and near-crashes.

Distraction is more than just taking your eyes off the road. Distracted driving also includes taking your hands off the wheel or taking your mind off driving. Distracted driving takes on many forms; however, texting is one of the most common across the nation.

Texting while driving is a behavior so dangerous that drivers are:

Examples of Distracted Driving are:

  • Texting or using an app on your phone
  • Changing the radio/selecting music
  • Waving to other people on the road
  • Passengers in your vehicle
  • Talking on your cell phone - even if it's hands-free
  • Eating while driving
  • Using a GPS
  • Grooming

North Dakota Distracted Driving Laws

1. Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers and carries a $100 fine. 
  • Learn more about North Dakota's texting while driving law here.
Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any electronic communications devices including cell phones.
  • 14 and 15-year-olds: The law carries a $20 fine and 4 points on your driver record.
  • 16 and 17-year-olds: The law carries a $20 fine and no points on your driver record.
2. Effective August 1, 2017, the law was expanded to include distracted driving to mean any distraction that impairs the ability to safely operate the vehicle. 
  • If you're distracted while driving and commit a traffic violation, the driver (any age) can be given a $100 fine for distracted driving.
  • Learn more about North Dakota's distracted driving law here.


Top 5 Tips to Avoid Distractions While Driving

  1. Silence your cell phone and turn off the vibration mechanism and your notifications. The less you hear your phone, the less tempted you’ll be to respond while driving.
  2. Designate a texter. Ask your passenger to handle tasks such as texting, placing a call or reprogramming your GPS.
  3. Ask family, friends and colleagues to respect your drive: Set cell phone boundaries and politely ask them not to contact you during the hours of your commute.
  4. Place your phone in the glove compartment or trunk. The old adage, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can be applied here. Wait until you’re at your destination or pull into a gas station or rest area to check messages.
  5. Download an app. Get some technological help to stop texting while driving. Download your favorite distraction-free app and forget the distractions while you drive.