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Study Finds Texting Laws Don’t Reduce California Crashes: They Do Help Prove Negligence

  • Published: December 29, 2010

A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that laws banning texting while driving don’t reduce the number of crashes. Instead, crashes increased in three of the four states studied, including California.

According to Adrian Lund, president of both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute, it’s possible that the increase is partly due to drivers “moving their phones down and out of sight when they texted, in recognition that what they were doing was illegal. This could exacerbate the risk of texting by taking drivers’ eyes further from the road and for a longer time.”

While it is regrettable that these laws aren’t reducing the number of crashes, they do help clarify negligence in personal injury lawsuits. Prior to the passage of these laws, defendants could argue that their texting was somehow reasonable or non-negligent. That option is no longer available, it is clearly against the law to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving.