How Effective Are Texting Bans? IDK n IDC

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Dec 17, 2010 in Car Accidents

Texting while driving may be illegal in most states, but that doesn't mean people aren't doing it anymore. In fact, researchers from the Highway Loss Data Institute found that the number of accidents increased after bans were put in place. The study looked at insurance claim data from four states, comparing the numbers from before and after the ban and measuring the results against claim data from adjacent states during the same time period.

Other studies have come to similar conclusions. This was a follow-up study by HLDI to their research into driving while using a hand-held phone. That study, released in early 2010, reported that banning the use of hand-held devices does not reduce the number of crashes. In a 2005 study, the data indicated that a driver on the phone was four times more likely to be in an accident with injuries. Researchers in Canada, too, found a four-fold increase in risk for drivers on the phone -- this time it was risk of property damage.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the parent organization to the HLDI, also reported that the cell phone use contributes to about 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents . That puts cell phones solidly at the top of the list of distractions contributing to crashes. distracted driving in general, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, was responsible for about 4,500 deaths in 2009, and they admit that the number is a conservative estimate.

But the question remains: Why have more crashes been reported after the ban? We'll discuss the various explanations in our next post.

Resource: Insurance Journal "Study: Texting Bans Don't Reduce Crashes" 12/17/10

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