Texting laws reduce traffic fatalities

Quick post here to highlight a nice study authored by Alva O. Ferdinand and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham that examined the impact of state texting laws on motor vehicle fatalities in the United States. I came away with two important findings from the study. First, primary enforcement (which means that officers can stop someone for only texting) texting bans were associated with a 3% decrease in traffic fatalities. Second, primary texting laws targeting teens were associated with an 11% decrease in traffic fatalities in that group. Given the tremendous variation that exists among the US states, including many states that have no texting restriction, this study provides important evidence to advance these laws. Links to the study and related media coverage below.

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2014.301894

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/08/01/texting-bans-work-they-cut-teen-traffic-deaths-by-11-percent-study-finds/