In what in coming as a surprise to those who study accidents and their causes, anti – texting laws may be the cause of more accidents. It seems that drivers are trying to hide their texting as to not be stopped by police, this increasing their chances of a collision.While texting while driving has been banned in 30 states around the U.S., accidents increased in 3 of 4 states that were studied by the Highway Loss Data Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
In a recent article it also stated that:
The institute’s findings about texting while driving bans, Lund said, is the same as its previous finding about bans on cell phone use while driving not reducing accidents, calling “into question the way policymakers are trying to address the problem of distracted driving crashes.”
“The point of texting bans is to reduce crashes, and by this essential measure the laws are ineffective,” Lund said.
A lack of enforcement is “a likely reason texting bans aren’t reducing crashes,” the institute found, saying that survey results indicate many drivers, “especially younger ones, shrug off these bans. Among 18-24 year-olds, the group most likely to text, 45 percent reported doing so anyway in states that bar all drivers from texting. This is just shy of the 48 percent of drivers who reported texting in states without bans. Many respondents who knew it was illegal to text said they didn’t think police were strongly enforcing the bans.”
“If drivers were disregarding the bans, then the crash patterns should have remained steady. So clearly drivers did respond to the bans somehow, and what they might have been doing was moving their phones down and out of sight when they texted, in recognition that what they were doing was illegal. This could exacerbate the risk of texting by taking drivers’ eyes further from the road and for a longer time.”
The results are extremely disappointing since it was hoped that by banning texting while driving would reduce accidents. Maybe there is another solution to the problem. When an accident happens and it is suspected that a driver was texting or talking on a call phone, a fine should be instituted for the offense. A police officer could check the drivers phone to see when it was last sued to text or talk on. Of course this would require a search warrant.
What do you think? Suggestions? Comments as always are welcome.