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No One Knows if Texting While Driving Bans Have Prevented Car Crashes

Logically, you would think that imposing a statewide ban on mobile phone use while driving would have to make the roads safer. Distracted driving has become the scourge of the roads according to many (including Oprah), so anything that helps curb such behavior would have to prevent accidents.

That very well may be the case.

But according to a recent long-term study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, no one can prove it.

The report—produced with a grant from State Farm—says limited research suggests cell phone use does increase crash risk, but no one knows by how much. Additionally, there is no conclusive evidence about whether hands-free cell phone use is any safer than hand-held use.

State Farm could not immediately be reached for comment.

Texting “probably” increases risk, but no evidence exists to prove if cell phone use or texting bans reduce accidents.

Therefore, among a handful of recommendations, GHSA advises states that do not have handheld bans to wait until more research is done before passing laws. In the meantime, the association urges states with bans to enforce them.

So … thanks, researchers.

That really clears up nothing.

Map via Property Casualty 360

Risk Management Magazine and Risk Management Monitor. Copyright 2020 Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume I, Number 192
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About this Author

Senior Editor

Jared Wade is the senior editor of Risk Management magazine and the Risk Management Monitor blog.

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