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Distracted Driving

Woman using cell phone while driving car.

Distracted Driving

Go Hands-Free. Just Drive. It's the Law. 

Distracted driving law now in effect:

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a bill making it illegal to manually use a cell phone or other mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle on Michigan roads. Under the law, a driver cannot hold or support a phone or other device with any part of their hands, arms, or shoulders.

Even if a cell phone or other device is mounted on your dashboard or connected to your vehicle’s built-in system, you cannot use your hands to operate it beyond a single touch.

As a result, you cannot manually do any of the following on a cell phone or other electronic device while driving:

  • Make or answer a telephone or video call.
  • Send or read a text or email message.
  • Watch, record, or send a video.
  • Access, read, or post to social media.
  • Browse or use the Internet.
  • Enter information into GPS or a navigation system.

Hands-free Law Guide

Michigan State Police Legal Update

What is Distracted Driving?

There are three main types of distraction:

Taking your eyes off the road.

Taking your hands off the wheel.

Taking your mind off the drive.

Texting is the most alarming distraction because it involves all three types of distraction. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes.

Penalties for distracted driving:

The law makes holding or manually using a cell phone or other mobile electronic device while operating a vehicle a primary offense—which means an officer can stop and ticket drivers for this violation.
$100 fine and/or 16 hours of community service.
$250 fine and/or 24 hours of community service.
Complete a driving-improvement course.
If a traffic crash occurs and the at-fault driver was holding or manually using a mobile device while operating the vehicle, any civil fines will be doubled.

Distracted Driving Awareness Videos

Kelsey's Law

Sam Howell's Journey: The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Worth Dying For

Frequently Asked Questions & Tips

  • You can use hands-free technology such as Bluetooth or integrated systems within the vehicle as long as you do not manually use the system. Anything more than a single touch is against the law.
  • You cannot use your hands to operate a cell phone or other device beyond a single touch, even if it is mounted. Use voice-activated commands instead.
  • You can use a cell phone to call or text 911 to report an emergency or seek help.
  • You cannot hold or manually use a cell phone or other mobile electronic device at any time while operating a vehicle. Operation includes being stopped at a light or in traffic but does not include being legally parked.
    • Use your phone's Do Not Disturb feature or an app to silence calls and texts.
    • Put your phone in the glove box or elsewhere to curb the urge to look at it.
    • Avoid eating, drinking, and smoking while driving.
    • Never attempt to read while driving, including a map.
    • Do not do any personal grooming or adjust your clothing while driving.
    • Avoid a lot of interaction with passengers.
    • Emotions can interfere with driving. Do not drive when you are angry or upset.
    • Keep music at a reasonable level, and avoid using headphones or earbuds.
    • Pull over to a safe location and park your vehicle if you need to make or take a call.
    • Do not drive with a pet on your lap.
    • Ask a passenger to help navigate, change the music, or monitor your texts.
    • Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving children.
    • Do not daydream when you are behind the wheel.