Texting and driving still don’t mix

An article in the Insurance Journal indicates that texting bans are not adding to a decline in accidents due to distracted drivers. In fact, a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found an increase in auto crashes (or at least in insurance claims due to car accidents) in four states after texting bans were implemented.

The four states were California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington. The study discovered that those under the age of 25 tended to text most frequently, and the incidences of car crashes among that demographic increased following the texting bans. Some surmise that texting while driving is actually increasing, which is why there are more accidents.

There is also evidence to suggest that texting bans are not working because drivers aren’t following them. The study found that in states with texting bans, nearly half of young drivers continued to text while driving. It is also possible that crashes are up because people are trying to be sneakier about texting while driving and thus are even more distracted.

It’s clear that there are many factors involved, and it is too early to tell whether or not texting bans will have long-term effects. However, regardless of whether or not there is a texting ban, texting while driving is unsafe. Don’t do it.