Five months after enacting Michigan’s hands-free law, new data emerges

On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a discussion about why distracted driving initially trended down in Michigan after the state’s hands-free law took effect and why those numbers are not dropping as rapidly now.

Listen now:

TMT - Five months after enacting Michigan's hands-free law

Ryan McMahon, senior vice president of strategy for Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a Massachusetts-based company with a stated mission to make the world’s roads and drivers safer, talks about the technology employed to determine the degree of distracted driving.

Ryan McMahon

New data released by the company shows that in Michigan, distraction has increased every month since month 3, totaling a 7.6 percent increase. In the same time period, Ohio’s distraction level increased 2.4 percent, three times lower.

McMahon explains how their telematics showed Michigan with a 36 percent reduction in distracted driving around the time the law took effect but some of those gains have been erased, a trend in other states with similar legislation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says distracted driving accounted for more than 3,500 crash deaths in 2021.