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New Study Shows Texting While Driving Laws Help Reduce Teen Traffic Deaths

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting while driving is considered one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, as well as one of the most common. Each year, texting while driving causes thousands of preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths, especially among younger drivers. Statistics from the NHTSA report the following about teen drivers:

  • As much as 71% of teens and young people say they have composed or sent a text message while behind the wheel.
  • Roughly 25% of teens respond to a text once or more every time they drive.
  • 20% of teens admit to having extended, multi-message text message conversations while behind the wheel.
  • Drivers under 20 have the largest proportion of drivers who drive distracted.

In an effort to address what some safety advocates have deemed a “national epidemic,” states throughout the country have taken steps to pass laws that prohibit drivers from texting or using cell phones while driving. Many states also create separate laws specifically targeting teen drivers who may be more likely to drive distracted.

According to a study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health published in the American Journal of Public Health, these laws have been successful in reducing preventable teen traffic deaths by as much as 11 percent. Traffic deaths overall also decreased over a 10 year period in states with primary laws banning text messaging.

In addition to noting the reduction in teen deaths, the study also highlighted the fact that states with the most success in creating safer roads did so using primary laws. Primary laws allow law enforcement officers to cite drivers simply for texting. Secondary laws allow officers only to ticket drivers for texting after they’ve been pulled over for a different reason. The state of law uses a primary law to ban texting and handheld device use for all drivers.

At Shook & Stone, our Las Vegas car accident lawyers have represented many victims and families who suffered great losses because other drivers drove distracted. We support laws that outlaw this negligent practice, and offer our support and services to anyone looking to recover their damages after being involved in a distracted driving crash.

If you or someone you love has been harmed in an auto accident caused by a driver who was texting or distracted, our firm can help. Call 702-570-0000 for a FREE consultation to learn more about your rights and filing a personal injury claim.

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