The Highway Loss Data Institute released the results of a study on Friday, January 29, 2010 suggesting laws to prevent the use of cellphones for talk or texting while driving are not effective in decreasing the number of car crashes.
The HLDI is a research entity sponsored by the insurance industry. To arrive at the conclusions, it used monthly collision data from four states where the use of hand-held phones by drivers is forbidden. Data was examined from crashes before and after the ban went into affect. Material was also studied from states with bans on texting to those in states with no such statutes.
In a joint statement, the HLDI and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that the study “doesn’t augur well for any safety payoff from all the new laws that ban phone use and texting while driving.”
The statement referred to enhanced efforts underway by federal highway-safety regulators to ban texting and to curtail other forms of driver distraction. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, late in January, disclosed new rules forbidding texting by commercial drivers and bus drivers and indicated his support for a universal ban.
Although phone manufacturers and automakers have, in general, supported the effort to stop texting while driving, car companies are concerned that in their zeal, federal regulators might seek to stop the inclusion of other technologies for communications and data display that are currently big drawing cards in newer models on showroom floors.