What is Michigan Distracted Driving

Michigan distracted driving laws currently only prohibit texting while driving. Distracted driving is hazardous and can cause personal injury and property damage. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Even with a hands-free device, multi-tasking while driving could have serious consequences.

Distracted driving statistics paint a grim picture: In 2016, 3,450 people were killed nationwide, and an additional 431,000 had injuries from motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are three main types of distractions:

  • Visual – taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – taking your mind off what you are doing

What is Michigan Distracted Driving Penalties

Michigan law prohibits a driver from reading, manually typing, or sending a text message while driving. Driving is operating a moving motor vehicle on a street or highway.

  • $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for subsequent offenses. 
  • The state will not put points on your driving record. 
  • Exceptions are in place for reporting crashes, crimes, or other emergencies.

Michigan law prohibits Level 1 and Level 2 license holders under the Graduated Driver Licensing program from using a cell phone while driving.

  • Violations are a civil infraction and fees and could be up to $240.
  • The state will not put points on your driving record. 
  • Exceptions are in place for reporting crashes, crimes, medical emergencies, serious road hazards, and if you believe your safety is in jeopardy.

Michigan distracted driving isn’t just about phone calls or text messages.

Many activities that take your attention away from traffic can lead to accidents. Examples of distracted driving include:

  • Adjusting a navigation system
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Retrieving a dropped item
  • Talking on the phone
  • Texting
  • Watching a video

Nearly half the U.S. states have restrictions against activities that cause distractions. Some states ban phone use in construction zones and school zones. Others place restrictions on novice drivers and operators of commercial vehicles, such as large trucks and school buses. Take the time to research the laws in your state and visit state distracted driving laws.

Finally, some Michigan cities make it illegal to have a hand-held mobile phone while driving.  Click Michigan Texting Ban for more information to see if your city is on the cell phone ban list.