There is more handheld technology available to consumers than ever, and many consumers have taken to using handheld devices in their car while driving. Sometimes, it seems impossible to drive down the road without seeing another driver texting, taking selfies or talking on a cell phone. Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous, but that does not stop many drivers from doing it anyway.

Distracted driving is prevalent throughout the country, and Louisiana is no exception. In fact, new data show that Louisiana has one of the highest rates of distracted driving in the entire United States.

Ranking distracted driving by state

New research has examined the data from customers of the data startup Zendrive to estimate the rate of distracted driving in every state. The results do not reflect well on Louisiana: According to the study, our state has the third-highest rate of distracted driving in the nation. Drivers in Louisiana use their phones for 7.7 percent of the time—an increase from last year’s rate of 6.38 percent. These were the states with the highest and lowest rates of distracted driving:

Highest

  1. Mississippi, 7.97 percent
  2. Rhode Island, 7.74 percent
  3. Louisiana, 7.7 percent

Lowest

  1. Oregon, 5.24 percent
  2. Montana, 5.24 percent
  3. Washington, 5.44 percent

Legal ramifications

Louisiana’s laws regarding distracted driving are fairly lax compared to other states’. Texting while driving is completely banned, but it is legal to use a cell phone for other purposes like talking, dialing, playing music and navigating. This poses a significant risk of personal injury for other drivers on the road. It is important for drivers who are injured in a car crash to know their legal options—especially since our state has such a high rate of distracted driving.