A study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows bans on texting while driving may not be having the desired effect. In fact, crash rates may actually be increasing in some states that have enacted them.
This is the second HLDI study to show cell phone bans aren’t working. Earlier this year, another HLDI study concluded that laws banning hand-held cell phone use while driving actually increased crash rates.
Why aren’t the bans working? Adrian Lund, president of HLDI, says, “They’re focusing on a single manifestation of distracted driving and banning it. This ignores the endless sources of distraction and relies on banning one source or another to solve the whole problem.”
Here’s another point: HLDI didn’t have a whole lot of statistics to look at. It measured four states that have had texting bans since 2008. A total of 30 states now have the bans, so as website Ars Technica points out, this study doesn’t include information for 26 of them.
Another theory: Americans are already too attached to their cell phones and texting to obey laws that ban them while driving.
Jared Newman of PC World writes, “America has a culture of distracted driving, and that’s not going to change because of a law against texting.”
Newman thinks the answer lies not in laws but in technology. More hands-free, voice-activated technology could keep more hands on the steering wheel instead of on the cell phone.
What do you think the answer is: Bans, technology, something else? Let us know in the Comments Box below.