Skip to comments.Was Trucker Cell Phone, Texting Ban Premature?
Posted on 01/29/2010 11:45:24 AM PST by BobMcCartyWrites
Only three days after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the new rules that prohibit drivers of trucks and buses from using cell phones and texting while behind the wheel, officials at the Highway Loss Data Institute released study findings that show no reductions in crashes after hand-held phone bans take effect.
Rresearchers for HLDI, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found steady claim rates compared with nearby jurisdictions without such bans when comparing insurance claims for crash damage in four U.S. jurisdictions before and after such bans, according to this news release.
HLDI researchers calculated monthly collision claims per 100 insured vehicle years (a vehicle year is 1 car insured for 1 year, 2 insured for 6 months each, etc.) for vehicles up to 3 years old during the months immediately before and after hand-held phone use was banned while driving in New York (November 2001), the District of Columbia (July 2004), Connecticut (Oct. 2005), and California (July 2008). Comparable data were collected for nearby jurisdictions without such bans. This method controlled for possible changes in collision claim rates unrelated to the bans changes in the number of miles driven due to the economy, seasonal changes in driving patterns, etc.
Month-to-month fluctuations in rates of collision claims in jurisdictions with bans didn't change from before to after the laws were enacted. Nor did the patterns change in comparison with trends in jurisdictions that didn't have such laws.
"The laws aren't reducing crashes, even though we know that such laws have reduced hand-held phone use, and several studies have established that phoning while driving increases crash risk," said Adrian Lund, president of both IIHS and HLDI. For example, an IIHS study that relies on driver phone records found a 4-fold increase in the risk of injury crashes.
People don’t stop doing something because it’s illegal. What making it illegal does is add potential penalties when they get in an accident, which for people holding truckers and bus licenses can be a big deal, it makes them more likely to get those licenses revoked. It’s that second accident that gets prevented.
Really. I was going to say the exact same thing. This summer on our annual trek from S. FL to NM (yes, a very long drive) we saw a trucker nearly run into an overpass as he overcorrected after drifting into the left lane. Thankfully he managed to keep the truck and trailer on the road and not hit anything or anyone (fortunately the interstate wasn’t as packed as it sometimes is). And yes, when we passed him we could see that he was STILL doing something with his cell phone, likely texting. It’s hard for me to fathom exactly how anyone can be that stupid, but driving around here in town, I see many people texting and driving. Who would have thought anyone would even have to be told that’s a stupid thing to do?
Oh, and add another source of revenue from all the tickets that troopers will be writing.
You mean politicians actually passed a thoroughly meaningless law just to make themselves look good, caring and strong?? Well that’s just TOO hard to believe!
Outlaw phones that are capable of texting, problem solved!
Texting is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard of anyway!
People have always done stupid things while driving. Before cellphones were invented I saw somebody shaving (electric thankfully, wouldn’t be surprised to see somebody blading it though). People eat, read, apply make-up all kinds of crazy stuff. I think it’s the amount of time we spend behind the wheel (which of course goes even more so for truckers), our cars are like second homes to us, we’re comfortable there, we do what we want when we’re comfortable. It’s very easy to forget we’re in charge of a hurling death machine.
It’s not meaningless. Texting while driving IS dangerous and SHOULD be banned. But people don’t think they way this article wants them to, when was the last time you were going to do something then remembered it was illegal so you didn’t? Probably never. If people worked like that we wouldn’t need jails, because once a law got passed it would never be broken. In reality with real humans laws exist to punish those that break them, to correct behavior, not prevent it.
Texting while driving is not harmless, it’s a big cause of accidents.
Yes, people do many stupid things behind the wheel. However, in the past couple of years I have noticed a LARGE increase here in totally crazy driving, people nearly drifting into the side of my car, people driving 15 miles below the speed limit, people weaving from lane to lane, etc. Almost without fail, they are doing something with their cell phone. There is something about it that takes attention away from what they are doing in a way that other things usually don’t.
Just stop texting while driving and you will be ok! ;)
Reminds me of when I was a kid and me and my brother were riding bicycles down a local street lined with occasional parked cars. My brother had a hand-held electronic game (LED football, long before Gameboys or iPhones) and the moron decided that he could play the game while riding his bike.
All went according to his multi-tasking plan - until his inattentive cycling ran into the back end of a parked car.
He learned his lesson that day about inattentive driving, but unfortunately when people do this sort of thing while driving a motor vehicle they more often than not hurt or kill others, not just themselves.
We can’t let ourselves be ruled by a “nanny state” that criminalizes every “boneheaded” activity like this, but we as a civilization need to shame those who act irresponsibly, not just for being stupid, but for emboldening wouldbe tyrants to take away our rights and personal choices one by one.
Most shrinks think it’s the conversation, as social animals we tend to focus strongly on our interactions with others. And a person on the other end of a phone call can’t see that you’re drifting all over the place the way a passenger can and bring your attention back to where it belongs.
So you are saying that any time that someone texts while driving that they always have an accident?
Or are you saying that since sometimes people are distracted by texting while driving that we have to stop all people from texting while driving.
And if we have to make it illegal for people that do things that distract them while driving, what other things do you think should be illegal while driving? Talking, singing along to the radio, eating a cheeseburger?
Please enlighten us as to how far you think the nanny state should be involved in any activity that might possibly result in harm to others.
Just stop driving and you will be ok!
I also read something not long ago (not related to cell phones, but I thought the info pertinent) having to do with how we communicate. It said that when we are talking we get about 50% of our information from body language. If that is the case, I suspect we have to concentrate a little harder if we are talking to someone we cannot see. I think that bears researching. Perhaps I can get a grant... ;)
Then why is talking on a cell phone okay as long as you are using a headset? The same conditions apply.
Do you feel better now?
I wonder when they are going to ban the use of those laptops that cops are always fiddling with while they drive...
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