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Cell Phones and Texting: Distracted Driving Laws in Michigan

cell phones michigan

Michigan defines distracted driving as any non-driving activity that takes the driver’s eyes away from the road while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. These distractions are further broken down into three main areas: manual, cognitive, and visual. Activities that cause distractions to drivers include:

  • Talking to passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Reading
  • Changing the radio
  • Watching a video
  • Using a cell phone or texting

If a teenager holds a Graduated Driver’s License, either level one or two, they are not allowed to use a cell phone while driving a vehicle. Texting and driving is banned for drivers of all ages and licensure status in the state of Michigan.

Texting and driving is illegal in Michigan and this includes reading, typing, or sending a text message on any electronic device. There are some exceptions to these laws.

Exceptions to texting laws

  • Reporting a road hazard, medical emergency, or traffic accident
  • Personal safety is in jeopardy
  • Reporting a criminal act
  • Those who are serving as a law enforcement official, police officer, operator of an emergency vehicle, or a volunteer of a fire department

Drivers who hold a normal operating license are allowed to make phone calls on a handheld device in the state of Michigan. Yet, if you become distracted, commit a traffic violation, or cause an accident, you can be charged with careless driving.


  • Drivers with a Graduated Driver’s License are not allowed to use a cell phone at all
  • Texting and driving is illegal for drivers of all ages

Different cities in Michigan are allowed to make their own laws when it comes to using cell phones. For example, in Detroit, drivers are not allowed to use handheld cell phone devices while driving. Furthermore, some municipalities have local ordinances banning the use of cell phones as well. Normally, these notifications are posted at the city boundaries so that those entering the area can be informed of these changes.

A police officer may pull you over if you are seen texting and driving without having seen you commit any other offense. If this happens, you may be issued a ticket that comes with a fine. The fine for the first offense is $100 and after that the fine jumps to $200.

It is a good idea to put your cell phone away while you are driving, for your safety and the safety of others.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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