April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Washington’s lawmakers continue to work on legislation that would ban holding handheld devices while driving.  The measure would prohibit holding an electronic device — including phones, tablets and other electronic devices — with his or her hands while driving, including while in traffic or waiting for a traffic light to change. However, the measure would allow "the minimal use of a finger" to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving.

The measure passed the Democratic-controlled chamber on a 63-35 vote Wednesday. It now heads back to the Republican-controlled Senate for concurrence on some changes made in the House.  For the record, drivers in the Northwest are the least distracted in the country with Washington, Oregon and Idaho  coming in one, two and three in least distracted, but a new survey finds lots of drivers still use their phones behind the wheel, especially in Vermont, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas.

Zen drive is an analytics company that looked at data from three million drivers for three months. They found Americans used their mobile devices during 88 percent of car trips, and that during hour-long drives, those behind the wheel spent an average of 3.5 minutes using their phones.




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