Banning the use of cell phones while driving does not make the roads any safer, according to the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The banning of such devices in many jurisdictions in Canada has apparently failed to make a difference to accidents, with the Institute claiming that while the actual use of handheld cell phones in motor vehicles did decline under the ban, the rate of accidents did not.
Alarmingly, the conclusions of a study conducted by the US Highway Loss Data Institute even go in the other direction, claiming that bans on texting on new and old cell phones have actually increased the number of accidents. The HLDI compared the accident rates of states both before and after the implementation of the cell phone driving bans, as well as those of neighboring jurisdictions that lacked such bans, and came to some startling conclusions.
“Texting bans haven’t reduced crashes at all,” says the president of the HLDI and the IIHS, Adrian Lund. “In a perverse twist, crashes increased in three of the four states we studied after bans were enacted.”
The HLDI says that the increase of crashes is because drivers are just holding their smart-phones lower while texting in order to avoid being caught, an act which then inevitably results in the driver being even more distracted than they would have been had they not been afraid of being witnessed in the act.