New Study Says Texting Bans Don't Reduce Crashes - BodyShop Business
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New Study Says Texting Bans Don’t Reduce Crashes

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A new
study by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) finds no
reduction in crashes after laws banning texting while driving take effect. In fact, such bans are associated with a slight increase in
the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage for
damage to vehicles in crashes. This finding is based on comparisons of
claims in four states before and after texting bans, compared with patterns
of claims in nearby states.

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The new
findings, released Oct. 5 at the annual meeting of the Governors Highway
Safety Association, are consistent with those of a previous HLDI study,
which found that banning hand-held phone use while driving doesn’t cut
down the number of crashes. HLDI is an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway
Safety (IIHS).

HLDI researchers calculated rates of collision
claims for vehicles up to 9 years old during the months immediately
before and after driver texting was banned in California (January
2009), Louisiana (July 2008), Minnesota (August 2008) and Washington
(January 2008). Comparable data was collected in nearby states where
texting laws weren’t substantially changed during the time span of the
study. This controlled for possible changes in collision claim rates
unrelated to the bans — changes in the number of miles driven due to
the economy, seasonal changes in driving patterns, etc.

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"Texting
bans haven’t reduced crashes at all. In a perverse twist, crashes
increased in three of the four states we studied after bans were enacted. It’s
an indication that texting bans might even increase the risk of texting
for drivers who continue to do so despite the laws," said Adrian Lund,
president of both HLDI and the IIHS.

HLDI’s
new findings about texting, together with the organization’s previous
finding that hand-held phone bans didn’t reduce crashes, "call into
question the way policymakers are trying to address the problem of
distracted driving crashes," Lund added.

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