A new report looking at driving while using electronic devices has been published and aims to strengthen laws and enforcement.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has unveiled the inaugural Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP) report, Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) and funded through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Latest statistics show crashes involving a distracted driver killed 3,142 people in 2019, up nearly 10 percent from the year before.

“When a person reads a text while driving, his or her eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds”, said GHSA in a statement.

“At 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. Every state currently has restrictions in place to address distracted driving but the laws vary in scope and rigor.

“Additionally, some states – such as Ohio, Michigan and Utah – are considering legislation in 2021 to enhance their distracted driving laws. This new report can help inform state and local efforts to strengthen laws and address the issue comprehensively.”

Researchers reviewed distracted driving laws as well as enforcement and public education practices across the United States and Canada to develop a library of resources and best practices that states and other stakeholders can use to enact or revise their laws and enhance enforcement and education efforts.