A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health indicates that bans on texting and driving, imposed by many states, may be having a significant impact on the occurrence of serious car accidents.
Investigators at Texas A&M School of Public Health determined that hospitalizations related to car accidents dropped a substantial 7 percent in those states that had implemented stringent texting bans for motorists between 2003 and 2010.
And while the researchers concede that their data cannot prove the change was caused by texting bans, they did make allowances for other traffic laws which might have had an impact on the decline, such as speeding, impaired driving, cell phone use, and teen driving limitations. Even after these conditions were accounted for, it was determined that stricter texting bans facilitated the decline.
The greatest impact was witnessed in those states where texting bans are primarily enforced, meaning a law enforcement officer can pull a driver over for texting alone.
Researchers hope their findings will encourage those states without texting bans or those with secondary enforcement, meaning an officer has to catch you committing another offense, to step up their policies on texting while driving.
As of April 2015, 45 states and Washington, D.C. have implemented texting bans for all drivers, with most of those bans being primarily enforced. Some states, however, only limit new drivers from texting.
But in contrast to the common mindset, adults are just as bad as teens about texting and driving- perhaps even worse. In fact, adults ages 25 to 40 are the worst culprits for constantly checking messages and emails.
The researcher’s data actually indicated a stronger correlation between a reduction in car accident-related hospitalizations and texting bans for Americans aged 22 and older than they did for teen drivers. This is not to say that bans on texting have made no impact on young driver safety statistics- a reduction in fatal accidents has been witnessed across the board.
For lawmakers, this information should prompt states with weak laws to strengthen them, and those states without texting bans to add them.
The takeaway for motorists is to put down the phone while they are driving.
Each day, nine Americans die in accidents caused by driver distractions, with texting being the worst sort of distraction. Texting engages the driver in a secondary task manually, visually, and cognitively, completely taking them away from the task of safe driving.
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Car accident injuries can turn your life upside down. They can result in permanent disability and a lifetime of pain and suffering. When you have been injured in a car accident, you should review all of your legal options to ensure that you have the compensation you need to recover. Contact Denver attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
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