Mili Note: More proof that nanny state laws do little to “protect” or “help” anything.
A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) claims that while most states have texting bans, there have been no reductions in crashes after the laws took effect and instead the results show a slight increase in crashes, especially for young drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were quick to respond, questioning the conclusions and citing success seen with test programs. Despite IIHS findings, it is clear that distracted driving is a growing problem, and one that warrants more attention.
Secretary LaHood responded to the study saying it was “completely misleading” and IIHS and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) “have been working to discredit national anti-distracting driving efforts over the last year.” He continued to say that “Tough laws are the first step and enforcement must be next.”
The IIHS/HLDI findings are based on comparisons of claims in four states (California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Washington) before and after texting bans compared with claims in nearby states without bans. They found that three out of the four states had an increase in damage from crashes after the bans. Washington saw a 1 percent increase in crashes after the ban, Minnesota 9 percent and California 12 percent. Washington’s results weren’t significant.
This new study follows an earlier IIHS study that found that drivers continue to talk and text despite the dangers and bans.