A new study conducted by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute has found that laws against texting while driving did not reduce car accident numbers in Louisiana and the other three states the study reviewed. The study also found that car accident insurance claim rates increased over the time period the researchers reviewed. The results of the study are consistent with another study that looked at the effectiveness of laws against handheld cell phone use while driving.
The study was based on the car accident claim rates during the months that preceded and followed the enactment of texting bans in four states. The study looked at texting ban statistics in four states: Louisiana, Minnesota, Washington and California. The data collected from these states was compared to car accident claim rates in nearby states where texting bans were not in place during the time period of the study. Crash rates in the study’s four states actually went up after texting bans went into place. One class of driver’s saw the greatest increase in crash rates. Drivers age 25 and younger saw the greatest increase crash rates in comparison to other drivers, especially in California.
The National Safety Council says the study is not conclusive in its findings and has said the results of the study do not mean that texting bans will not eventually work. The Council also said that texting bans need to be enforced properly in order for the laws to effectively work. The two organizations do agree that cell phone use while driving is responsible for around 25 percent of car accidents that occur nationwide. Cell phone use accounts for the greatest source of distracted driving according to the National Safety Council.
Source: InsuranceJournal.com, “Study: Texting Bans Don’t Reduce Crashes,” 12/17/10