As we all know, auto insurance companies charge higher rates to those who get in accidents. Irresponsible use of cell phones while driving can put you and others in danger and could potentially lead to higher car insurance rates. Additionally, many states now prohibit texting and talking on your phone without a hands-free device while driving.

As of October 2010, the following 30 states have laws in place to fully prohibit texting while driving a vehicle: AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE (effective 01/02/11), GA, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OR, RI, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI (effective 12/01/10), and WY. In addition, younger drivers are prohibited from texting in: AL, IN, ME, MS, MO, OK, TX, and WV.

As of October 2010, the following 9 states have laws in place to prohibit the use of cell phones without a hands-free device: CA, CT, DE (effective 01/02/11), MD, NJ, NY, OR, UT, and WA. Limited restrictions are also in place: AR, IL, LA, OK, and TX.

Read more about the NTSB's recent recommendation that all 50 states adopt laws prohibiting cell phone usage while driving.

We at CoverHound strongly encourage you to exercise caution whenever using your cell phone on the road. And that caution should extend beyond texting to include emailing, picking a song -- or anything that will take your eyes off the road even for a split instant.

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