Do texting bans cause more accidents?

Here’s a perfect example of unintended consequences: Laws that ban the texting while driving may actually increase the risk of wrecks, according to a data released Tuesday by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

At first, that seems utterly counterintuitive. Halfwits who text while driving are not only not paying attention to what’s going on around them, they sometimes can’t even keep their car in their own lane. So how is it that in HLDI research showed that crash rates rose in three out of four states after texting bans were implemented?

It seems the increased crash rates were due to drivers responding to the regulations by moving their phones lower down and out of sight when sending a text, the Cleveland Leader reported.

This increases the risk of a crash because the driver’s eyes are diverted further from the road and for a longer, said Adrian Lund, president of HLDI and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving. South Carolina does not have a law on its book banning texting while driving but lawmakers in Columbia have said they will try to get such a law on the books by next year.

(Hat tip: Cafe Hayek)

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