Driving Fatalities Down in States with Texting and Driving Laws
Bans and Citations Trade Off with Traffic Fatalities
Distracted driving accounts for more than 3,000 deaths a year on average, but it seems as if there may be some relief on the way. Research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham shows that these numbers are dropping as more states ban texting while driving.
According to the information, 31% of drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 had sent or read a text message while driving at least once in the 30 days before the study. The problem is far from solved, but the next discovery kept their hopes up – in states with total texting-and-driving bans, rates of distracted driving fatalities were consistently 3% lower than in states without such a law. The report claims that this amounts to roughly 19 prevented deaths across the country every year. The drop in deaths for 15 to 21-year-olds was 11%. States with laws that make texting only a secondary traffic offense, or an offense that does not warrant a driver being pulled over, saw no significant improvement.
Researchers hope that this gives lawmakers the motivation they need to crack down on distracted driving across the country. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 39 states have texting-while-driving bans with primary enforcement, meaning a driver can be pulled over for texting.
For information on which states have texting-while-driving bans, visit our page on state-by-state cell phone driving laws.
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Unfortunately, some drivers still choose to text and drive, and that can put you and other motorists at risk. If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you may have a case.
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