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  •  paul
  • 50.2% (Neutral)
  • Member Topic Starter
2010-09-30T00:16:52Z
So you're driving along minding the rules of the road when all of a sudden some moron in the other lane weaves in front of you. Is he drunk? Did he suffer a stroke? Nope, he's just firing off a text message. You could flip him off, but unless you have an appropriate emoticon for that, and his cell phone number, he'll never see it.

Because of situations like this -- and worse -- most states have had the good sense to ban texting while driving. It'd be naive to think a law prohibiting an activity would stop it altogether, but surely it's helping, right? Maybe not. According to a new study by researchers at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), laws against texting while driving have done nothing to reduce the number of text-related crashes. Surprising? Chew on this -- since these laws went into effect, the number of insurance claims filed under collision coverage have actually went up!


In Minnesota, the collision rate went up 9 percent after the texting while driving ban went into effect.

"Texting bans haven't reduced crashes at all. In a perverse twist, crashes increased in 3 of the 4 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," says Adrian Lund, president of both HLDI and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

You could chalk it up to coincidence or just disregard the study altogether, but there's actually a plausible reason why bans on texting while driving might actually be causing the crash rate to go up.

"If drivers were disregarding the bans, then the crash patterns should have remained steady," Lund explains. "So clearly drivers did respond to the bans somehow, and what they might have been doing was moving their phones down and out of sight when they texted, in recognition that what they were doing was illegal. This could exacerbate the risk of texting by taking drivers' eyes further from the road and for a longer time."


Lund's assessment jives with recent survey results, which show that many drivers, and in particularly young and inexperienced ones, admit to disregarding these bans. Almost half of all drivers ages 18-24 years old said they still text while driving, partly because they didn't feel like there was a high risk of getting caught.

Do the results surprise you?
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Super Dave
2010-09-30T01:30:44Z

I commute by motorcycle and I fear I might someday be squished by an SUV driver that is texting or talking on their cell phone.[:S]

JJr
  •  JJr
  • 100% (Exalted)
  • Member
2010-09-30T10:41:41Z

this law isn't effective cause you can't easily catch those who violate it.. i guess we are gonna have to hang on to "Drive Defensively"..

lonewolf
2010-09-30T11:40:52Z

's not surprising at all. Just like drinking and driving "oh it will never happen to me I never get that drunk". These teens feel they really have it under control. It's a disorder in my opinion but what can you do.

There is this little device some may have heard of it its called "Bluetooth" this is the solution.

DeltaSquad49
2010-09-30T12:06:22Z

If they really want to solve this problem, they need to have voice2text and vice versa on every cell phone.

Drago
  •  Drago
  • 50.8% (Neutral)
  • Advanced Member
2010-09-30T18:25:07Z

The real solution is for parents to be involved and make sure their kids dont text and drive. Parents are responsible for their kids and if they gave a damn they would make sure their kids didnt do it. If i had a kid an i caught him or her texting i dont care how old i would bend them over my knee and spank them then take their phone away from them.

People dont get that when you are behind the wheel of a car you are driving a DEADLY weapon. If i ever have to use a cell phone when im in my car driving i pull off the road someplace safe to do my business then continue on. It isnt hard to do people just have to think about others and not themselves all the time.

realneil
2010-09-30T21:44:57Z

Just outlaw texting altogether. Make it against the law to even provide the service to anyone. If nobody could text, then they would just drive the damn car and maybe pay attention too.

Der Meister
2010-09-30T23:20:52Z

Humm while I would agree that Teens have a big influence. I believe they are not alone in texting while driving. And While yes it is a distraction, there is little one can enforce these days on it. Say for example I have my Dx plugged into my can for music or Pandora. Now I could get a text and respond to it and If i get pulled over I can say I was using it as an mp3 player which is perfectly legal. There is no jurisdiction for the office to look at my phone to tell if it was. Something to think about....