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Michigan police agencies focus on curbing distracted driving

In 2022 there were more than 15,000 crashes in Michigan involving a distracted driver, including 57 fatalities, with the most common type of collision being a rear-end crash
Lap Dog Driving
Driving with your pet on your lap, or anywhere in the front seat, is both dangerous and illegal. Photo courtesy YouTube.

In support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, police agencies throughout Michigan are teaming up with the Office of Highway Safety Planning for a high-visibility enforcement effort throughout the month.

To help keep everyone safe, officers will remind drivers about the dangers of distracted driving while enforcing Michigan’s Hands-Free Driving Law, which took effect on June 30, 2023.

The goal of this initiative is to reduce traffic crashes caused by distracted drivers, ultimately preventing injuries and deaths.

Distracted driving comes in many forms, but texting and cell phone use while driving has become the most prevalent type of distracted driving.

While drivers recognize using their phone while driving is dangerous, they're doing it anyway. The temptation for tech is visceral and ever-present, so drivers don’t always realize when they shift into distracted driving.

Tips for safe driving:

  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
  • When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away. Just because other people do it doesn’t mean texting and driving is “normal” behavior.
  • If you see someone texting while driving, speak up.
  • Listen to your passengers: If they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.

According to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, in 2022 there were 15,441 motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, including 5,905 injuries and 57 distracted-driving fatalities. The most common crash type for distracted-driving crashes was rear-end, which accounted for 48.4 percent of distracted-driving crashes.

Additional information regarding this legislation and the penalties associated are available through the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety Planning website at