Monday, October 29, 2012

Insurance industry: Texting while driving bans increase accidents

The Texas Tribune has a feature on Texas municipal ordinances related to texting while driving, but I confess to wishing the reporter had included in the story data from "The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [which] says that 3 of every 4 states that have enacted a ban on texting while driving have seen crashes actually go up rather than down" (source). Why would crashes increase? "It's hard to pin down exactly why this is the case, but experts believe it is a result of people trying to avoid getting caught in states with stiff penalties. Folks trying to keep their phones out of view will often hold the phone much lower, below the wheel perhaps, in order to keep it out of view. That means the driver's eyes are looking down and away from the road."

The Trib mentioned that some jurisdictions have extended the ban beyond mere texting. "In September, Amarillo banned the use of all mobile devices while driving."


Anonymous said...

They should remove textig from the phones,,it is the only way they will ever get people to stop texting while driving.

Perhaps a block on all phones when they are inside a car,,stop all incoming and outgoing calls and texts.

A lot of people can't even drive and talk on a phone at the same time,much less text and drive.

Grumpy said...

Lots of research indicates that simply talking on a cell phone, much less texting, while driving is tantamount to driving while stumbling drunk. So, assuming cell usage records can be made available as evidence, let's treat causing an accident while using a cell phone exactly the same as causing an accident while using a cell phone, even to the point of charging a driver with vehicular homicide should the worst happen. I can't see how MADD could fail to support the idea.

ColeenSanLeon said...

Many of the new phones have voice to text/text to voice features that record your voice and translate it into an outgoing text and play your incoming text out loud for you. It's certainly not the perfect solution but as long as the technology trend is moving us closer and closer to one device we should be able to expect them to continue to improve ease of use while hands free.

Anonymous said...

The difference between driving drunk and driving while texting is that the moment you stop texting you are no longer driving while impaired.

Denny Crane said...

Just like when the cities added the red light runners having pictures made caused accidents to go up.

The more you tell people NOT to do something the more they will do it!

Unknown said...

If we are going to go with the idea that distracted driving is distracted driving no matter what the cause, why not ban drive through windows at restaurants as well as rigging phones so they will not function inside a car. While we are at that, lets ban radios, CD players and see if we can't figure out how to prevent people from talking to each other.

Anonymous said...

I work an extra job directing traffic on the IH45 feeder road and have done so far several years. The biggest problem I have is with drivers talking on cell phones and their lack of awareness of traffic control on the roadway. I really can't tell if people are texting from my vantage point. No idea what the solution is or if one is needed. Alcohol impaired drivers and young, inexperienced drivers cause most of the fatal accidents I have investigated.

MAC - Middle Aged Cop

john said...

IF you live in an area with public transportation, you could give a short driving-suspension ticket.
But that would not include nearly anyplace. There's a limited are in Houston center that actually has viable transportation.
Texans NEED to drive, due to many highways and no public transpo. THAT bed was made, long ago. And gov wants us to continue "driving" so they can fee/fine/tax us.
The issue of phone use, let alone texts--which youth PREFERS over talking--is Pandora's private number, now out of the bag, and probably worse than blind grannies driving on FL sidewalks.
Isn't it great the baby boomers didn't have these phones in the 50s-60-s. Imagine how different our American automobile culture would be.

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