Sep 11

Study Questions Effect of Texting Bans

Much has been spoken about texting and hand-held device bans. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have laws that ban texting while driving. A recent study funded by insurance companies shows the recent efforts to ban texting while driving has not reduced the rate of car accidents.

The study compared the crash rates in the first four states to ban texting while driving. Those states are Washington, California, Minnesota and Louisiana. The study looked at the amount of accidents before and after the texting ban laws went into effect. The study found that crash rates did not change significantly in one state and actually increased marginally in the other three. The study also compared insurance claims for accidents of neighboring states that did not have text bans during the study time to the four initial states.

The study was immediately condemned by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Distracted driving has been one of LaHood’s centerpiece issues. Mobile phone and other driving preoccupations caused almost 450,000 injuries and nearly 4,500 deaths last year. The conductors of the study do not discount the danger texting presents while driving. Their study suggests that laws are not affecting accident rates. Another study released earlier this year by the same institute showed that bans of handheld mobile phones also did not lessen accident amounts.

There are multiple explanations for the findings. Drivers who continue to text may try to do so in a more secretive manner by keeping their text movements low. This may further reduce focus on the road leading to increased accidents. New preoccupations may also be filling the space left by texting bans. LaHood has voiced concerns about in-vehicle technology that may prove to also divert attention.

When safety belt legislation was first introduced similar data was released that suggested seat belt laws were not effective. Advocates of distraction bans argue it will take time for the effects of the bans to be felt. A Flushing car accident lawyer can help you with your case. Whether the car accident was caused by texting and driving or human error. Car accidents lawyers in Flushing, New York have you covered.

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