Parents fear their driving-age teenagers will do it and harm themselves or others. But grown adults do it as well. Texting while driving has become an unwelcome side effect of the smartphone era
And it’s not just about texting anymore. It’s checking your newsfeed on Facebook or your latest emails. Those who are doing it, are risking their lives, the lives of others, jail time and the families of those who are caught in the accident and will need a lawyer to help with through such a tough time.
Many U.S. states have enacted bans on texting while driving, with some actually giving police officers the enforcement authority to stop a motorist if they suspect texting is going on. If you are one of these motorists, you might be interested in someone like this philadelphia criminal lawyer that might be able to help you with your case.
Now a new study suggests that the toughest texting-while-driving bans are having a positive effect. Researchers found that car-crash hospitalizations dropped in states that instituted strict bans on texting and driving between 2003 and 2010.
Overall, the hospitalization rate in those states declined by 7 percent versus states with no bans, the researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health.
The findings do not prove that the actual texting bans caused the reduction in hospitalizations, according to study leader Alva Ferdinand, an assistant professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health.
However, she said that her team tried to rule out other factors that could account for the decline — such as laws on speeding, drunk driving, handheld cellphones and teen driving restrictions. In the end, texting bans were still strongly associated with the decline in hospitalizations for traffic accidents, her team found. It is unfortunate that people are still hospitalized due to accidents with distracted drivers despite the new laws but the numbers have drastically reduced. If you have been hit by a driver who was texting then you may want to look at This website to see if you need legal help.
The benefit of those laws were mostly in states with “primarily enforced” texting bans, Ferdinand told HealthDay. That’s when police officers can pull drivers if they just have a suspicion of texting.
“Some states have secondary enforcement,” Ferdinand explained. “In those states, law enforcement has to catch you doing something else first — like speeding or running a red light — and then determine that you were texting.”
Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy for the AAA, agreed, telling HealthDay that “the more data we have showing benefits, the better,” said Nelson, whose organization supports laws against texting while driving. Since this study focused on hospitalization rates only, he added, “the results are probably a conservative estimate of the full impact of texting bans.”