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State bans have impact on teen texting while driving rates

A new study reveals that states that pass texting while driving bans see a significant decrease in teen texting while driving rates in the years that follow the ban's passing. Now that may seem incredibly obvious, and to an extent it is. But teen texting while driving rates are so high anyway that even obvious decreases like the ones seen in this study deserve to be highlighted.

The study was based on self-reported teen texting while driving numbers from 2011 and 2013. During that time, 14 states passed texting while driving bans. The teen texting while driving rate, according to self-reported numbers, dropped from 43 percent to 31 percent in the wake of the bans. The specific drop from state to state varies, of course. For example, in Connecticut the rate dropped from 52 percent to 42 percent during the 2011-2013 time period.

But what about here in Arizona? Well, the teen texting rates here also dropped over the same period, though this wasn't due to a state texting ban. Arizona municipalities are left to their own devices when it comes to legislating texting while driving bans. Still, the teen texting rate dropped from 55 percent to 45 percent from 2011 to 2013.

Though it's good to see that these bans do have an impact on the texting rate, the numbers are still way too high. In addition, even if the teen texting rates were cut tremendously, there would still, unfortunately, be plenty of car accidents as a result of texting while driving -- regardless of whether a teen is responsible or not.

A texting while driving accident can be devastating, and those who are victims of such an accident need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney so that they are fully aware of all of their legal options.

Source: Reuters, "Teen texting and driving dips with state laws," Kathryn Doyle, April 27, 2015

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