A new study sponsored by a Albuquerque car accident lawyer at the Highway Loss Data Institute has found that laws that ban texting while driving are ineffective and may increase the number of car accidents. The study compared the number of claims in four states before and after bans were in place with nearby states that did not have bans during the same time period. The Highway Loss Data Institute is associated with an insurance industry organization that monitors highway safety. The National Council of Safety reacted to the report saying the study was not conclusive and that the study’s findings did not mean that texting bans could not eventually work.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute texting while driving bans do not decrease car accident numbers. The study looked at the collision statistics of before and after Minnesota, Louisiana, California and Washington put their anti-texting laws in place. The study compared those states’ numbers with nearby states in order to eliminate other factors in accident claim rates like weather and miles traveled for commuting. The study also found that drivers aged 25 and younger have gotten into the most car accidents since the bans have been put in place. Car accident rates for all age groups increased but in comparison to other age groups drivers age 25 and younger saw their accident rates go up the most.
The findings of the study are similar to previously conducted studies. A Canadian study that measured the effectiveness of texting while driving bans also saw crash incidences rise after bans were put in place. A study conducted in the United States on laws that limit handheld phone use while driving concluded the law was ineffective. The National Safety Council, however, feels the recent study does not provide definitive evidence. The National Safety Council says that the texting laws must be enforced properly to prevent car accidents.