Ok, we all know that logically, texting while driving isn’t a smart thing to do. It’s too distracting from driving, and one could wind up with some serious repercussions. And, in cases where the state hasn’t enacted the law about requiring a Bluetooth headset while talking on the phone, the same thoughts apply. This is just common sense.
So, state legislatures have been working hard to put laws in place to ban phone usage and texting while driving to save us from those ‘serious repercussions.’ Has it worked? Well, according to a study put out by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the answer is no.
“The laws aren’t reducing crashes, even though we know that such laws have reduced hand-held phone use, and several studies have established that phoning while driving increases crash risk,” says Adrian Lund, president of HLDI.
The HLDI compared collisions of 100 insured vehicles per year in New York, Washington DC, Connecticut, and California — all states with currently enacted roadway text bans. Despite those laws, monthly fluctuations in crash rates didn’t change after bans were enacted, [although] there were less people using devices while driving. An earlier study conducted by the HLDI reported that cellphone use was directly linked to four-fold increases in crash injuries. Also independent studies done by universities have shown correlation between driving while using a phone and crashes.
So what does all of this REALLY mean? Well, don’t phone/text and drive. Period. Will people actually follow this? No. Is there any real way to eliminate this problem in the future? I am thinking auto-pilot in cars (a la Demolition Man).