New Mexico has recognized the dangers of distracted driving. The state has banned texting or talking on the phone while operating a motor vehicle. While drivers may still talk on the phone if they are using a hands-free device, texting is only allowed in case of an emergency. While some people may be annoyed or feel inconvenienced by these types of laws, they can rest assured that they, and others on the road, are safer because these laws are in place.
Study Shows that Texting While Driving Bans Reduce ER Visits
A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that states that had implemented texting while driving bans saw traffic-related emergency room visits drop by an average of 1,632 per year. This is good news for a country plagued with a distracted driving problem. Researchers noted that there were close to 3,500 fatalities and 391,000 injuries as a result of distracted driving in 2016 alone.
In the study, researchers looked at crash-related injuries treated in emergency rooms between the years of 2007 and 2014 in 16 different states across the U.S. During this period, all but one state, Arizona, enacted a texting while driving ban at some point. The states that had enacted the ban saw an average reduction in emergency room visits for crash-related injuries of 4 percent. This is likely due to the fact that texting while driving does not just put the driver who texts at risk of injury. It puts passengers in the distracted driver’s vehicle at risk. Other drivers and passengers of vehicles on the road are put in danger. Bike riders and pedestrians are at risk of being injured by distracted drivers. When people put their phones down, they are and everyone else on the road is safer for it. This recent study confirms what many have already held as truth. Drivers who pay attention to the road help keep everyone else safe.
It is also interesting to look deeper at the way each state enforces the texting while driving ban. Some states have made distracted driving a primary offense. This means that a law enforcement officer has the authority to pull over a driver who they suspect is texting while driving and not violating the law in any other way. Other states have opted to make texting while driving a secondary offense. In this case, law enforcement officers may only issue a ticket for texting while driving in the event they have pulled over a driver for some other kind of traffic violation. One might think that the primary offense states would see a more prominent reduction in distracted driving crash-related injuries, however, this has apparently not been the case. States with texting bans as a primary offense only saw an 8 percent reduction in emergency room visits for those injured in texting while driving crashes. States with texting bans as a secondary offense saw a 4 percent reduction.
Getting Justice for Accident Injury Victims
While distracted driving legislation has done a great deal to improve safety on our roads, there is still work to be done. Countless people are still injured every day in traffic accidents caused by negligent drivers. If you are one of these people, MPJ Law Firm is here for you. Contact us today.
Posted in: Automobile Accidents