BUFFALO, N.Y. – Distracted driving is the number one reason accidents happen in New York State. Driver inattention accounts for nearly 20 percent of all crashes, resulting in thousands of injuries. Although distractions like texting and driving are still a top cause of accidents, statistics show strict laws prevent some of these crashes from happening.
Most states, including New York, have bans on texting and driving and new research has found how important these laws are. Car crash hospitalizations dipped in states that have strict bans on texting and driving between 2003 and 2010.
Researchers found that overall, the number of those hospitalized in these states declined by 7 percent, compared to states without a texting ban.
“Clearly, texting and driving bans are extremely difficult to enforce but these laws have consistently shown they can help curb the number of injuries in places like Buffalo,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “In states with strict bans in place, drivers will at least think twice before picking up the phone.”
Currently, 45 states and the District of Columbia ban drivers from texting. However, five of those states do not completely ban the dangerous activity. Several places only restrict teenagers or those with driver permits from texting behind the wheel.
“It’s not just teenagers who are texting and driving,” Cellino said. “Adults do it too and it’s just as dangerous.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine Americans are killed every day by a distracted driver. Researchers hope their findings can influence more states to include primary enforcement of texting and driving to the law books and improve highway safety nationwide.