Everyone knows the danger of using a cell phone while driving and in Michigan, it's now against the law. But can you get a ticket for using your phone while you're in line at the drive-thru waiting for your food?

Michigan's Texting and Driving Law

Michigan's new hands-free driving law took effect in June of 2023. Drivers can be pulled over and ticketed for holding or using a cell phone for any reason, whether it's making a phone call, sending a text, scrolling through social media, watching or recording video, or any other means of communication. This restriction also extends to electronic devices like handheld video game and GPS units.

SEE ALSO:  Is it Illegal to Sleep at a Michigan Rest Stop? 

Drivers are, however, permitted to interact with cellphones if they're in hands-free or voice-activated mode when the device is mounted, not being held by the driver, and can be activated by a single touch. The use of a vehicle's built-in Bluetooth system is also permitted.

Texting and Driving:  The Dangers and Penalties

Drivers who are texting are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Michigan Auto Law breaks down the penalties, noting that drivers can receive a $100 fine and/or 16 hours of community service for their first offense.

Subsequent violations can result in a $250 fine and/or 24 hours of community service drivers with three or more violations within three years can be required to complete a basic driver improvement course.

Can You Get a Ticket for Texting in the Drive-Thriu?

Contrary to what many drivers believe, state and local police officers can issue tickets to drivers who pick up their phones or interact with their devices while stopped at a traffic light.

Although Michigan law does not specifically address using cell phones in drive-thru lines, the practice is discouraged.

We spoke with Lieutenant Todd Gilbert with the Grand Blanc Township Police Department, who said that drive-thru lanes are considered part of restaurants' parking lots. While it's technically not against the law, Gilbert says it's never a good idea to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

"The law allows it," Gilbert says. "However, we would prefer people not do it simply because we want your attention focused on operating the vehicle."

While using a cell phone in a drive-thru won't get you a ticket in Michigan, use caution when traveling elsewhere. In 2015, a man from Alberta, Canada made international headlines when he was ticketed for using a cell phone in a Tim Hortons drive-thru. Canadian laws regarding texting and driving are notoriously stricter than those here in the US.

The Most Popular Fast Food Restaurants in Michigan

What are the most popular fast-food restaurants here in Michigan? If you're automatically assuming that the chain with the Golden Arches has the most locations, you're in for a shock.

As you take a look at the pics below, see if you can figure out which location we've featured. All pictures are from the greater Flint area, and we've left in just enough background for you to be able to make an educated guess.

The answers are below.

By the way, the ranking is based on the restaurants with the most locations in The Mitten, based on data from the Friendly City Lab at Georgia Tech. Their numbers are based on data compiled in 2021, so some numbers may have fluctuated since then.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

Best scenic drives in Michigan

It's time to hit the road—Stacker compiled a list of the best scenic drives in Michigan using data from Tripadvisor as of March 2024.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Ever Find a Red Quarter?

More From Cars 108