By Ed Oswald | Friday, January 29, 2010 at 10:37 am
The latest fad among governments is to pass legislation that ban texting while driving, as evidenced by the growing list of states with anti-cell phone laws. But if a new study just released by the Highway Loss Data Institute means anything, these laws don’t change much.
HLDI found that crash rates are not decreasing as a result of these laws.”The laws aren’t reducing crashes, even though we know that such laws have reduced hand-held phone use, and several studies have established that phoning while driving increases crash risk,” the group’s president Adrian Lund said. This isn’t to say that cell phone use while driving doesn’t increase crash risk — HLDI points out several studies that showed an four-fold increase there — but it isn’t stopping crashes either.
It seems as if the group is shocked by the study’s results, saying it expected to see a decrease in crash occurrences. Maybe the findings of this study are indicative that these laws are just unnecessary legislation that really doesn’t do much to contain the problem. This might be a case where good old fashioned education may play a bigger part in solving the problem, no?
“Whatever the reason, the key finding is that crashes aren’t going down where hand-held phone use has been banned,” Lund says. “This finding doesn’t auger well for any safety payoff from all the new laws that ban phone use and texting while driving.”
Seems like the HLDI agrees.