Study: Texting bans increase risk of crashes

Will there now be a movement in the legislature to repeal the dangerous ban on texting?:

Laws against using mobile devices to send and receive text messages while driving don’t reduce crashes, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

In fact, not only do bans fail to decrease crashes, they may slightly increase crash risk, the Institute said.

“Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all. In a perverse twist, crashes increased in 3 of the 4 states we studied after bans were enacted,” said Adrian Lund, president of both HLDI and the related Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Both groups are funded by the insurance industry.

Researchers compared insurance claims data in the months before and after texting bans were enacted in California, Louisiana, Minnesota and Washington state. They also compared that information to data from neighboring states in which no such bans were ever enacted.

18 comments

  1. Tiberius says:

    Where was this 6 months ago when we needed it??

    I’m honestly curious if local NBC (I forget the call letters) will cover this report since they spent weeks covering the crying Gainesville teenagers preaching for the bill.

  2. polisavvy says:

    Duh!! I wonder how much this cost? I hope we didn’t spend too much on this one. It was always obvious from the beginning that “textaholics” would continue to do it — just not be as obvious as before so as to avoid getting caught.

  3. Glen Ross says:

    Yup, because if I were to text while driving while under the ban I probably would do it down low out of sight of law enforcement, taking my eyes even further off the road. Obvious.

    • polisavvy says:

      I know someone very near and dear to my heart that almost ran into a lake about two weeks ago because he was texting and driving. He did exactly as you said, put it low and out of sight — it almost cost him his life. He stopped doing it for a few days; but, is back at it again. You just can’t fix stupid. My only hope is that if he has an accident that he only hurts himself and not some innocent sole.

      • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

        I just don’t understand the need to text, or even talk on the phone while driving. What is so important that someone feels the need to take their mind off the road? Is it a sense of self-importance or self-absorption? I won’t even answer my phone while driving.

        • Jeff says:

          I have a 1.5 hr drive each way to work – due to sheer distance involved (nearly 100 miles), not traffic.

          If I wasn’t talking or texting, I would fall asleep. I know because there have been SEVERAL times where I would pick up the phone for that exact reason.

          Which is more dangerous: using the phone or falling asleep while driving? (Hint: The first has a LOW percentage of actual accidents caused due to the behavior. The second has a percentage near 100%.)

            • Jeff says:

              100 miles one way, every day, to work isn’t a “long drive”? Most in metro ATL would beg to differ. Remember, in 100 miles on I-75 you can go from Cartersville to Forsyth. Most in metro ATL would consider that a long dang way. I know people in Cartersville who pitch a fit about having to go 20 miles to Kennesaw to pick up something, or complain about said drive to work.

              • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

                You’re joking right? Forget about distance, 1.5 hours in a car for a metro Atlanta commute is more common than you think. If you’re falling asleep at the wheel after 1.5 hours, then you have other underlying health issues; and certainly no reason to fall asleep at the wheel…let alone justify texting while driving.

                Disclaimer, my commute of 12 miles is only 40 minutes.

                • Jeff says:

                  It is more the distance than the time. I’ve had similar time drives before (from Cartersville to Covington) that didn’t have me NEAR as tired.

                  But here’s the whole point I’ve been trying to make all along: We already had distracted driving laws. Why the need to single out certain behaviors?

                  The only answer I can figure is that the Nanny Statists figured we needed ANOTHER law and were going to pass one regardless.

        • polisavvy says:

          My feeling is that if something is that damn important — pull off the road. I talk on my cell and drive; but, never look at or respond to a text.

  4. chefdavid says:

    http://times-georgian.com/bookmark/9678885

    It say’s it best here:
    “It’s very difficult to enforce the law,” Copeland said. “It’s very easy to catch someone on the phone, but hard to determine if they are texting.”

    I wish someone would publish a fact of how much it cost to get a law passed. This is yet another fine example of all the time spent on a law that was not needed. Didn’t we already have a distracted driving law in GA?

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