Online Auto Insurance Examines the Epidemic of Texting While Driving

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A new infographic from breaks down state texting laws, the dangers of sending or reading messages from behind the wheel, and more.

What could cost a driver up to $10,000 in fines, warrant a yearlong prison sentence, cause them to drive the length of an entire football field basically blindfolded, and increase their insurance rates by around 10 percent in some cases? Texting while driving, according to a new infographic from (OAI).

Reading and sending text messages from behind the wheel is banned for all drivers in 39 states. Why? Because studies have shown that when drivers write or read a text, they spend an average of 4.6 seconds with their eyes off the road. That's the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded if you're going 55 mph.

To check out the full infographic, which is being released in coordination with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, copy the following URL and paste it into your browser:

According to stats cited in the infographic, 96 percent of Americans consider texting or emailing while driving to be somewhat of a safety threat or a very serious safety threat. Despite that, more than one third of drivers admit to having read a text while driving in the past month, according to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"From what driver surveys have shown us, the overwhelming attitude appears to be 'Text as I say, not as I do,'" says OAI manager Cesar Diaz.

And if the safety threat isn't enough to compel drivers to stop sending those texts, a new study from OAI shows that U.S. residents could be fined a maximum of $10,000 for texting behind the wheel. That maximum fine is in Alaska and is the highest of any state. In other states, though, the fine can be as low as $20 (The study can be accessed by clicking the "Research" tab at the top of the home page to get the details of texting laws in every state.). And another article from OAI shows that insurers in at least nine states might be using texting violations to increase drivers' rates.

Head to the "Research" section of to get all the details about texting.

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Benjamin Zitney
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