A recent study suggests that laws prohibiting drivers from sending and receiving text messages while behind the wheel may have unintended side effects. A Highway Loss Data Institute survey released in September 2010 reported that of the four states that have passed laws prohibiting texting, three have seen an increase in traffic collisions since the regulation took effect.
The study’s authors suggested that the increase in collisions may have been caused in part by drivers hurriedly lowering their phones into their laps to avoid being cited for violating the law. Anecdotal evidence provided by law enforcement officials seems to support this theory as well. Law enforcement officials also report having a hard time proving that motorists are texting and driving, especially in states where laws allow drivers to talk on handheld communication devices.
In 2011, the Traffic Safety Culture Index, released annually by the American Automobile Association Foundation, reported that 95 percent of motorists surveyed believed that sending or viewing text messages or emails while driving puts drivers in significant danger, but of that same group, 35 percent of drivers surveyed said they had participated in text messaging or email communications while behind the wheel within the past month.
As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I have seen the damage drivers can do when they lose focus. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, please consider contacting a Los Angeles car accident attorney.