A recent national study has revealed a correlation between laws that ban texting while driving and a lower rate of serious car accidents. The study was conducted by the American Journal of Public Health and headed by an assistant professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health. The study notes that correlation is not the same as causation, but the findings were certainly intriguing.
The research study showed that states with laws that prohibit texting while driving have reported a seven percent decline in hospitalizations resulting from car crashes, compared to states with no texting while driving bans in place. During the study, the Texas A&M team tested multiple variables trying to isolate for texting while driving specifically, and each time the results linked the decline in hospitalization for car accidents to an environment with a ban on texting.
Primarily Enforced Laws Compared to Secondary Enforcement Laws
In states that have what is known as primarily enforced texting bans, law enforcement is mandated to stop drivers if they suspect that the driver may be texting. In states with secondary enforcement regulations in place, law enforcement must have reasonable cause to stop a driver such as speeding, or running a red light or stop sign; suspicion of texting is not enough to warrant a stop. The study data indicated that states with primarily enforced texting bans had an overall lower rate of car accident hospitalizations than those with secondary enforcement regulations or those lacking restrictions against texting while driving.
Currently, 45 states and Washington, D.C., have laws in place that restrict all drivers from texting while operating a vehicle. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are both states that ban texting while driving and have primary enforcement mandates in place. However, while New Jersey bans use of cellphones and the act of texting while driving, Pennsylvania bans only the act of texting while driving.
National car accident statistics show that distracted driving kills nine Americans every day. Texting while driving or distracted driving can cause permanent or fatal injury not only to the person who is distracted by texting, but also to passengers in the car, drivers of other vehicles, and pedestrians. In many cases, these deaths could have been avoided if the drivers had not been distracted by texting or using a mobile device.
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A recent national study has revealed a correlation between laws that ban texting while driving and a lower rate of serious car accidents.