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Distracted driving in Michigan: What's included, potential fines and penalties

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Michigan's distracted driving laws include more than just using your phone in the car.

Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Today 5PM - Defenders ride along as police bust distracted drivers

As of July 1, 2010, Michigan law prohibits texting while driving. For a first offense, motorists are fined $100. Subsequent offenses cost $200.

Here's direct info on distracted driving from Michigan State Police:

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual - taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual - taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive - taking your mind off of what you're doing

Distracting activities include:

  • Using a cell phone and/or texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a PDA or navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Changing the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.
  • Loud music

(While not all of these will result in a ticket or fine, they're just generally guidelines on driving safe.)

Focus on the task at hand - driving:

  • Get familiar with vehicle features and equipment before pulling out into traffic.
  • Preset radio stations, MP3 devices, and climate control.
  • Secure items that may move around when the car is in motion. Do not reach down or behind the seat to pick up items.
  • Do not text, access the Internet, watch videos, play video games, search MP3 devices, or use any other distracting technology while driving.
  • Avoid smoking, eating, drinking, and reading while driving.
  • Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children.
  • Do personal grooming at home-not in the vehicle.
  • Review maps and driving directions before hitting the road.
  • Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving.
  • Ask a passenger to help with activities that may be distracting.
  • If driving long distances, schedule regular stops, every 100 miles or two hours.
  • Travel at times when you are normally awake and stay overnight rather than driving straight through.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you drowsy.

Distracted driving stats

  • In 2016, 3,450 people were killed nationwide in traffic crashes involving distracted driving.
  • 9.2 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States in 2016 involved distracted driving.
  • In 2015, 3,477 people were killed nationwide in traffic crashes involving distracted driving.
  • 9.9 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States in 2015 involved distracted driving

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