Do texting-while-driving bans save lives?
That’s not the answer I was expecting, nor frankly the answer I wanted to hear, but some serious research, which The Atlantic Cities reported on, seems to have come to this conclusion.
The problem doesn’t seem to be the concept – that part works – but enforcement problems are the asterisks that we have to address. And within the “enforcement” field there are a number of factors that influence the effectiveness of the bans.
Total bans work better than partial or weak bans, but even they lose effectiveness quite quickly.
The muddiness of the situation – e.g. is the driver texting illegally or using her phone legally? – is another factor, as is the problem of how to read statistics which, in some cases, suggest bans actually raise accident numbers. And what happens when drivers get better at texting while driving to the point where we can’t see them doing it?
A number of possible scenarios: my favorite is a draconian ban in every state. Stow the phone and, as Jim Morrison advised us in Roadhouse Blues, “keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.”
If you are not convinced try watching the Faces of Distracted Driving videos like the one shown below, or read this article from the U.S. DOT about 5-Year-Old Xzavier Davis-Bilbo.They will, or at least should, make you cry.
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