In states that have implemented relatively stringent texting bans, investigators discovered a direct correlation among fewer hospitalizations due to car accidents and those bans between 2003 and 2010. According to the American Journal of Public Health, hospitalization rates dropped by 7 percent overall in states with bans, compared to states without texting bans.
While the findings are not definitive proof that the bans are the cause for the drop, steps were taken to account for other factors that may have influenced the data. Alva Ferdinand, assistant professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health and study leader, says her team considered other traffic laws, such as those on speeding, impaired driving, handheld cellphone use and teen driving restrictions, and how they might have influenced the statistics.
After these factors were considered, texting bans were still influential in the reduction in hospitalizations for crash injuries.
The greatest benefit was reaped in states where texting bans are primarily enforced, meaning a law enforcement officer can stop motorists for suspicion of texting alone. Ferdinand suggests that lawmakers in states with secondary enforcement or no texting bans at all, may want to reconsider their policies.
The director of traffic safety advocacy for the AAA, Jake Nelson, concurs. He believes the findings of this study are most likely conservative since they focus on car crash hospitalizations, and the actual impact of texting bans may be underestimated.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), currently all drivers are banned from texting in 45 states and Washington, D.C. Among these states, all but five have primarily enforced laws. The remaining five do have some restrictions, such as forbidding texting by “novice” drivers.
Contrary to popular belief, however, teens are not the only ones texting and driving. In fact, the executive director of the GHSA, Jonathan Adkins says adults between the ages of 25 and 40 are the worst culprits.
Ferdinand’s team discovered that it is actually this age group who benefits from texting bans more than teen drivers. A 9 percent reduction in car crash hospitalizations for Americans aged 22 years and older was linked to texting bans.
This doesn’t mean texting bans have no impact on young drivers and passengers. In a previous study, Ferdinand’s team found a correlation between bans and a reduction in fatal car crashes for all ages.
The takeaway is that all drivers should abstain from texting. Devoting your full attention to the task of driving allows you to drive defensively and watch out for other drivers who may be distracted.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nine Americans die every day in accidents involving a distracted driver, and that texting is the most dangerous distraction of all.
Contact Our Pueblo Car Accident Lawyers
Distracted driving is an increasing danger on our roads. As more drivers engage in distracted driving, such as texting, accidents are also increasing. If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. Contact Pueblo attorneys at Smith & Smith, today for a FREE CONSULTATION – (719) 544-0062.