States put texting bans into effect to decrease instances of texting and driving since it’s dangerous and causes an estimated 400,000 injuries in accidents a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A study done by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) showed that just listening to a call while driving reduces brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. This reduction of brain activity is what leads to accidents, which can cause serious injuries, or could even be fatal.
While lawmakers’ intentions are good, are the bans really effective in reducing distracted driving accidents? Let’s take a look at our state laws that are in effect or have been presented that ban texting while driving.
Kentucky Texting and Driving Laws
In Kentucky, House Bill 415 in 2010 was passed and made texting and driving illegal for all drivers. Even though it was good to ban texting while driving, the bill failed to ban all cell phone use while driving. Drivers can still legally make calls and still distract themselves while driving, which allows for loopholes.
In 2020, a bill was introduced to add to the ban so that all cell phone use is prohibited while driving and might be brought to a vote this year. Other states who have bills that ban all handheld devices have seen decreases in accidents and fatalities from cell phone related distracted driving. A hands-free ban from House Bill 255 could prove to be even more effective than the original texting ban since it keeps drivers from using their cell phone altogether.
Effectiveness of Texting Bans Across the Country
While looking at the effectiveness of texting bans across the country, we can also turn to similar safety initiatives that have been implemented across the states. Similarly to decreasing texting and driving, increasing seat belt use and decreasing drinking and driving were effectively done with strong legislature, serious consequences, and high enforcement.
These tactics have proven effective in changing driver behavior in the past, according to an article published by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, which could mean that texting bans could do the same when properly implemented and enforced.
However, a texting ban alone is not as effective as banning all use of handheld devices while driving. When texting is the only action that is banned, it forms a loophole that some other cell phone use is allowed, like making phone calls. When all handheld device use is banned, it prevents drivers from using their phones for anything while driving, which is the safest option.
Kentucky saw that even though texting was banned, cell phone use behind the wheel still continued to happen, and still led to accidents and fatalities. Like mentioned above, other states saw a decrease in accidents and fatalities when changing the legislation to include all cell phone use, not just texting. While banning all handheld devices is more effective than texting bans alone, even hands-free devices can be distraction because they take a driver’s attention away from the road.
A Car Accident Lawyer From the Law Office of Todd W. Burris Can Help You
Distracted driving accidents are dangerous and can prove fatal to any passengers involved. One person’s negligence behind the wheel can cause life-long debilitating injuries, or worse for other drivers and passengers. When you’ve been involved in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you deserve justice for the negligent driver’s actions.
A car accident lawyer from the Law Office of Todd W. Burris will fully investigate what happened to ensure that the distracted driver is held liable for their negligence. You deserve full and fair compensation for your injuries, and we will fight to make sure that you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today so that we can discuss your potential claim.