New Study Shows That Laws Work to Prevent Texting and Driving Accidents
A new research study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that texting and driving legislation is the most effective means of preventing that type of distracted driving accident.
Texting and driving has surfaced as one of the leading causes of death among teenagers and young adults, higher even than drunk driving. The distracted driving practice also has as high a mortality rate for the general population as drunk driving, according to studies. South Carolina recently passed texting and driving legislation, making it the last Southern state to do so.
The latest research study, published in the August edition of the journal, analyzed traffic data over an 11 year period, and looked closely at traffic patterns and car accident data in which police officers specifically stopped drivers for texting and driving (called primary enforcement laws). The study also looked into the effectiveness of other texting and driving laws, which ban the practice but allow police to write tickets only if texting and driving also impacts other traffic laws.
Research showed that primary anti-texting and driving laws were the most effective, preventing an average of 20 vehicular accident deaths per state, per year.
Currently, 45 states ban texting and driving, with 39 of those using primary enforcement – more than the 33 that allow police to pull drivers over for not wearing a seat belt.
There are 3,300 fatalities related to distracted driving car accidents per year in the United States. The CDC reports that 31% of 18-64 year old drivers in the US admit to having sent a text while operating a vehicle in the past 30 days.
South Carolina’s Texting and Driving Law Officially In Effect As Of June 2014
On Monday, June 9th, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the state’s texting and driving ban into law. The texting and driving ban went immediately into effect after Governor Haley signed it.
The ban covers writing or reading texts, emails, or social media sites while operating a vehicle. South Carolina is the 45th state to pass this legislation. Prior to the statewide ban, local municipalities took matters into their own hands. Greenville, Beaufort, and Charleston Counties all passed texting and driving legislation to protect their citizens.
The number of local governments banning texting and driving spurred the successful statewide ban. “At least we have an overall texting bill that makes the entire state exactly the same. The way it was, nobody knew what the texting law was when they drove from one county to the next,” said Rep. Don Bowen, R-Anderson, who’s fought for a statewide ban since 2010.
“In a state not well-known for regulating behind-the-wheel behavior, legislators are saying, ‘Your decisions behind the wheel have consequences for everyone because you endanger everyone else as well as yourself,’” said Tom Crosby, spokesman for AAA Carolinas. “It’s a great start.”
A “training period” of 180 days will go into effect once the texting and driving ban is signed into law, during which time police will issue warnings rather than tickets.
The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers, Including Texting and Driving
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.