Study Suggests Texting Bans Ineffective

September 28, 2010 ( – Thirty states and the District of Columbia have enacted bans on texting while driving in recent years, but a new study suggests they haven't produced their intended result.

A Business Insurance report said the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) study found no reductions in crashes in states that put the texting-while-driving bans in place.

The HLDI found that such bans are actually associated with a slight increase in the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage for damage to vehicles in crashes.  HLDI researchers looked at claims in California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington before and after the texting ban was enacted and compared the data with patterns of claims in nearby states with no ban.  

“Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all,” said Adrian Lund, president of HLDI in a statement. “In a perverse twist, crashes increased in three of the four states we studied after bans were enacted. It’s an indication that texting bans might even increase risk of texting for drivers who continue to do so despite laws.”

For his part, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood dismissed the group’s latest study, saying the report is “completely misleading” and that texting bans, when enforced, are working. He said the organizations’ research fails to coincide with DOT research that shows how deadly distracted driving can be and how it is declining in cities where laws are coupled with enforcement.

The report is available at

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS), an advocacy group, announced recently that this year’s Drive Safety Work Week focuses on how employers can institute policies against using mobile phones while driving (see Employer Group Supports Workplace Distracted Driving Policies).