Nine states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, already bar drivers from using any electronic devices while driving. Thirty-five states and D.C. ban texting while driving. But virtually all states allow drivers to use hands-free devices, even though talking can be a distraction.
An overwhelming number of Americans support a ban on texting while driving.
A CBS News poll conducted in May found that 94 percent of Americans said they believed texting while driving should be outlawed.
But despite that view, a record number of Americans are using their electronic devices while on the road. Forty-seven percent of all adults surveyed in a Pew poll in June, 2010 conceded that they had at least once sent or read a text message while they were behind the wheel.
An NHTSA survey released last week found that nearly two out of every 10 drivers and half of drivers ages 21 to 24 said they are texting while driving. According to the survey, drivers younger than 25 are two to three times more likely than their older counterparts to read or send text messages or emails.
The problem is so rampant that even the White House held a summit in 2009 to discuss legislative action to ban texting while driving. President Obama signed legislation that would bar federal employees from texting behind the wheel.