The statewide texting ban for drivers in Massachusetts appears to be saving lives. According to a new study, states with strong anti-texting while driving bans are experiencing a drop in the number of hospitalizations for car accidents.
In Boston, Worcester, Springfield and throughout Massachusetts, drivers can be pulled over if police see them texting behind the wheel. They don't have to be committing any other violations, because texting while driving in Massachusetts has "primary enforcement" of the law.
This is a key element, because the study, reported in the American Journal of Public Health, found that the benefit was seen in states with "primarily enforced" texting bans. Some states have "secondary enforcement" of the law, which means a police officer has to observe some other violation - such as speeding or running a red light - before he or she can stop the texting driver.
Researchers concluded that states which have not passed strict texting bans should consider doing so.
Bans on Texting Result in 7% Dip in Crash-Related Hospitalizations
The new study looked at car accident hospitalization statistics between 2003 and 2010. Texting bans were linked to a 7 percent reduction in crash-related hospitalizations among all age groups, the study found. While the benefit was minimal for adolescents, statewide texting bans were "significantly associated with reductions in hospitalizations among those aged 22 to 64 years and those aged 65 years or older."
A personal injury lawyer knows that texting and driving is a particularly dangerous practice for young people. Texting combined with a general lack of driving experience can result in a tragic accident.
According to an article about the study in U.S. News & World Report, an earlier study found that texting bans were linked to a drop in deadly accidents among all age groups, including younger drivers.
At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, we have handled many cases involving distracted drivers and have seen firsthand the devastating impact of careless choices by negligent drivers. Too often, drivers believe they can safely multitask. They think they can type a text message or check out social media while they are cruising down the Mass Pike, Route 128 or some other road in the Bay State.
A recent AAA survey found that nearly all drivers (97 percent of them) say texting behind the wheel is wrong, but 28 percent of them admitted to texting and driving during the previous 30 days.
If you are the kind of driver who can't resist the temptation to look at your phone while on the road, consider these tips:
- Keep your phone out of reach - store it in the glove box or the trunk
- Turn the phone to "silent" mode or turn the phone off completely
- Use an app that prevents you from texting while driving
- Let a passenger hold your phone while you are driving
We've mentioned this fact before, but it bears repeating: If you look at your phone for five seconds while driving 55 mph, you essentially have covered the length of a football field blindfolded. In those few seconds, a distracted driver can cause a serious accident resulting in catastrophic or fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one was a victim of someone's carelessness behind the wheel, we strongly advise you to contact an experienced attorney who will protect your rights and hold the negligent driver accountable.
Contact a Boston accident attorney today at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone. Call 1-800-WIN-WIN-1 for your free case consultation or visit www.marksalomone.com. Also serving Worcester, Springfield and towns and cities throughout Massachusetts.