New research challenges effectiveness of texting laws

It's been said that texting while driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Some new research contradicts that, and found that states where texting bans are in place actually do not reduce the number of crashes on the road.

Researchers at the University of Colorado looked at more than a million accidents over six years on California highways and found the state ban on texting had no effect on the number of collisions.

According to The Daily Mail, researchers chose a window of six months before and after the ban to eliminate other factors such as the production of safer cars, the recession and changes in other traffic laws.

The findings are now published in the journal, Transportation Research. One of the authors of the study said if just a fraction of drivers stop using their phones, it may reduce some accidents, but not to the point where it registers any statistical evidence. In other words, he says it would not have a significant impact.

Thirteen states currently ban handheld-cellphone use for all drivers, and 10 other states have some form of ban either just for younger drivers, a ban in school zones, or as a local option.

One researcher said the results are not conclusive proof anti-texting laws do not work, pointing out that some people may have already switched to hands-free devices such as Bluetooth before the ban.

Distracted driving is said to be one of the most common causes of deaths among young people.


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