HLDI: Ban on texting while driving isn’t reducing accidents

While many states have been aggressive on their ban of texting while driving, a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that there have been no reductions in crashes after laws take effect that ban drivers from texting while operating a vehicle. The findings are based on comparisons of claims in 4 states before and after texting ban, compared with patterns of claims in nearby states.

“The new findings, released today at the annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association, are consistent with those of a previous HLDI study, which found that banning hand-held phone use while driving doesn’t cut crashes,” HLDI, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said. “HLDI researchers calculated rates of collision claims for vehicles up to 9 years old during the months immediately before and after driver texting was banned in California (January 2009), Louisiana (July 2008), Minnesota (August 2008), and Washington (January 2008).”

“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.

Lund said that the study “calls into question the way policymakers are trying to address the problem of distracted driving crashes.”

We don’t think Ray LaHood is really happy right now.

– By: Omar Rana