New laws disallowing text messaging while driving have been popular in many state legislatures, with 25 states now banning the practice. A new report from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that the laws may not lowering the number of accidents in the states with the new law.
Some were instantly skeptical of the report, including Ray LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation.
The report, published by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is “completely misleading,” LaHood said in a statement. The study found “no reductions in crashes after laws take effect that ban texting by all drivers” and said such laws may actually be “associated with a slight increase in the frequency of insurance claims” under collision coverage. The full text of the study can be found at the IIHS Web site.
Info Tech & Telecom News, a Heartland Institute publication covered some of these issues in a 2009 article, highlighting the difficulties states have in enforcing the law, and market based efforts to combat the problem of distracted driving.