When it comes to driving while using a cell phone the least safest states are Louisiana, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and Idaho. The top three safest states are Vermont, Montana and Oregon. Despite being among the top five overall least safe driving states, New Hampshire and Connecticut ranked fourth and fifth for phone use.
"Some of the differences may be explained by state laws," Tim Henderson reports for Stateline. "Few Southern states, for example, have blanket laws that ban the use of cellphones while driving, according to an assessment of state laws this month by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lower speed limits in the Northeast may make it easier to get caught speeding."
One reason Midwestern drivers might be safer is that "in big, wide-open spaces where speed limits are high and drivers few and far between, there appears to be less speeding," Henderson writes. Peter Norton, a technology historian at the University of Virginia, said Midwestern populations tend to be older, "which means they may be more experienced drivers and less likely to be cellphone-dependent."