Our Positions | Distracted/Impaired Driving

Roadways have become more dangerous because of in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in 2015 blamed 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries on forms of distracted driving that included talking or texting on a phone, adjusting an entertainment console, or operating a navigation system. Such technology features add to the existing forms of distracted driving like eating and conversing with passengers.

This issue has garnered attention at state capitals across the country with laws banning or limiting the operation of electronic devices while driving. To date, 47 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving and several states have adopted more stringent measures regarding use of handheld devices.

In addition to the perils of distracted driving, impaired driving continues to threaten the safety of roads. According to NHTSA, 28 people in the United States die each day in an alcohol-related vehicle crash and a cost of $52 billion is attributed to these deaths and damages.

NAMIC Position

NAMIC supports prohibitions on the use of handheld devices and text messaging while driving. NAMIC also encourages further development of technology to block such devices from operation while the vehicle is in motion. Laws designed to make roadways safer benefit our members’ policyholders as well as the driving public and pedestrians.

NAMIC is a member of the board of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and strongly supports that organization’s numerous safety initiatives that include laws on the implementation of tougher impaired-driving provisions. NAMIC supports the Research of Alcohol Detection Systems for Stopping Alcohol-related Fatalities Everywhere Act (also called the ROADS SAFE Act), which authorizes $12 million in annual funding for the NHTSA to develop in-vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving. NAMIC also stands behind efforts at the state level to reduce drunk-driving fatalities and injuries.

Idaho: Legislature Completes Session After Passing Distracted Driving, Tort Reform Priorities; Harmful UIM Bill Fails to Advance

March 25, 2020 The Idaho Legislature went home on March 20 after finishing a busy session. Of the many bills that were considered, three were most closely followed by property/casualty insurers. HB 614, a distracted-driving bill that prohibits most uses of mobile... Read more

Utah: Session Ends; AOB Bill is Highlight

March 17, 2020 Utah’s legislative session ended on schedule on March 12, just as state legislatures around the country began considering altering or delaying their proceedings in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The main highlight of session for industry was... Read more

Utah: NAMIC Supports Bill to Improve Distracted Driving Law

March 3, 2020 The Utah House on Feb. 24 narrowly approved a bill that would more broadly prohibit the use of handheld devices and improve the enforcement of this law. House Bill 101 passed the... Read more

GHSA Sees Rising Pedestrian, Cyclist Fatalities

March 2, 2020 A Governors Highway Safety Association report estimated that the nationwide number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2019 was 6,590, an increase of approximately 300 deaths, or 5 percent, from 2018. Additionally, cyclist... Read more

South Carolina: 2020 Pre-filing Underway

November 26, 2019 Pre-filing for the 2020 portion of the 123rd South Carolina General Assembly has begun. Almost 100 new bills have been introduced, and several are of interest to the property/casualty... Read more


Tom Karol
General Counsel - Federal