Bans on texting while driving fall under the larger umbrella of distracted driving. According to Distraction.gov — the official U.S. government website for distracted driving — "distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing."
What's the point of making texting while driving illegal?
Anything that takes your attention away from the road can be dangerous. In 2009, a University of Utah study found that driving while using a cell phone, whether handheld or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent — the legal limit in most states. In other words, texting while driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Not every state has banned texting or cell phone use while driving, and the states that do don't enforce the laws in the same way. Visit Distraction.gov to find out your state's distracted driving laws.