Is Texting and Driving Still an Issue?
Do Texting and Driving Laws Work?
Safety on the highways is something we take seriously. Worldwide, about 1.3 million people lose their lives in auto crashes every year. Here in the US, roughly 35,000 people die each year (despite a growing population, that number is actually down from decade over decade).
With the growing popularity of smart phones, we have to ask are people actually putting them down while they drive? With laws going onto the books about not using a phone while you drive actually effective? Let’s take a look and see.
Using a Phone While Driving Statistics
This section may have been able to be called texting and driving statistics. But many people use their phones for email, Facebook, Snapchat, texting, calls, and more. None of these are less dangerous than the other. These are stats for the US alone.
- 1,600,000 crashes occur every year due to distracted driving.
- 3,400 people die each year because of a distracted driving crash.
- Drivers under the age of 20 are more likely to be involved in these crashes.
- Roughly 25% of crashes are because of distracted driving.
- Distracted driving is as bad as driving drunk.
We can all agree that distracted driving leads to some pretty serious consequences. To make matters worse, many of the victims are following all of the laws and driving safely; the driver of another vehicle ends up causing heartache for them.
But do laws have any effect on lowering the number of crashes and deaths?
How Effective are Distracted Driving Laws?
The short answer: they work. The longer answer: they could work better. A study carried out from 2000 – 2010 found that banning texting and driving did have an impact. Of course this was before most people had smart phones, so the numbers could be skewed. That study found that:
- There was a 2.3% decrease in traffic fatalities.
- Secondary offense laws are basically useless. These are when an officer sees you texting, but you can only be pulled over for another infraction. Unless this happens, you won’t ever be caught.
- Targeting young people, the ones more at risk, works far better (this group saw an 11% decrease in fatalities).
The results could be better, but any improvement in driving safety is a win. As people become more aware, the deaths on our roads will hopefully continue to decline.
Billings, Montana has a Distracted Driving Law
If you drive around in Billings, you see people on their phones all the time. The problem is that our distracted driving law is a secondary offense, and as the study found, it’s essentially useless in preventing accidents. That means we each must make our own commitment to not texting and driving. If the temptation is too great, consider using DND while driving on your phone.
If you made a mistake and got in a wreck while using your phone, or if you have been hit by a distracted driver, we will repair your vehicle to full factory safety standards. Come see the best auto body shop in Billings, and make sure to put the phone away from here on out.