News by Michael Oryl on Tuesday September 28, 2010.
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A study by the insurance industry-backed Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that laws that ban texting while driving have no positive impact on the number of car crashes caused by distracted driving. In fact, in 3 of the 4 states studied, the crash rates went up from 1 to 9 percent after the bans went into effect, suggesting that people continue to text while driving, and that perhaps they are increasing their distraction risk by holding their phones lower while texting so as to not be caught breaking the law.
The four states studied were California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington, and the data from each state was compared with crash rate data from neighboring states to adjust for outside factors.
The authors of the study say that this doesn't mean that texting while driving is safe - it isn't - just that the way lawmakers are attempting to address the situation, with bans, is entirely ineffective in reducing the number of accidents due to distracted driving.
30 states currently have bands on texting while driving. More information can be found at the HLDI website.source: Highway Loss Data Institute