Ban on Texting while Driving Leads to More Crashes, Not Less

Monday, October 04, 2010
Anti-texting laws don’t work, says the Highway Loss Data Institute, a research group funded by the automobile insurance industry. After reviewing accident reports from four states that outlawed sending text messages while driving, the institute found the bans did nothing to reduce the number of automobile accidents. In fact, insurance claims related to vehicle crashes went up slightly in California, Louisiana and Minnesota. In Washington, the rate of crashes was roughly the same before and after the state’s texting ban.
“Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all….It’s an indication that texting bans might even increase the risk of texting for drivers who continue to do so despite the laws,” said Adrian Lund, president of both the institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Observers speculate that those who defy the ban, particularly young drivers, try to hide the fact that they are texting, causing an even greater distraction to their driving.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Status Report Ban Texting (Highway Loss Data Institute) (pdf)


Erik Wood 7 years ago
Business people need to 'hit the ball over the net'. Teens consider it rude not to reply immediately to texts. Home schedules would grind to a halt without immediate communication. We are conditioned to pursue this level of efficiency but we are all supposed cease this behavior once we sit in our respective 5,000 pound pieces of steel and glass. Anyone can win an argument in a forum like this by saying "Just put the phone away" - but we can see its just not happening. I just read that 72% of teens text daily - many text more 3000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook - even with their professors. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and its not going away. I decided to do something about it after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver . Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple app for smartphones. I think if we can empower the individual then change will come to our highways now and not just our laws. Erik Wood, owner OTTER LLC OTTER app

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