Distracted Driving

Motor vehicle injuries remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 35, and distracted driving is one of the biggest risk factors.

An estimated 28 percent of crash risk is attributed to cell phone use or texting.

Texting while driving increases crash risk by 23 times – that’s like driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19!

Texting while driving in Washington was banned in 2007. And, if you get caught texting or using a hand-held phone while driving, you’ll get a $124 fine.

Despite these laws, a 2013 study, led by Dr. Beth Ebel, found that nearly half of Washington’s distracted drivers are still texting.

This video was created in order to encourage law enforcement of distraction.

Texting and driving don’t mix.

Watch this documentary by Werner Herzog about the potential consequences of distracted driving.

Intervention Strategies for Effective Distracted Driving Laws

Public opinion supports laws that restrict cell phone use while driving, yet drivers continue to put themselves and others at risk.

Funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant awarded to Dr. Beth Ebel, this study will improve the implementation and enforcement of Washington’s distracted driving laws by:

  • Generating data to prevent distracted driving injuries.
  • Producing a public health law database to evaluate interventions that can be used in other states.

The Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center partners with the Washington Target Zero Task Force, Public Health – Seattle & King County leadership, and King County Prosecutorial leadership on the research.



Pediatricians/Health Care Professionals

Law Enforcement


Washington Distracted Driving Report Cards

2014 Report Cards

2013 Report Cards