This blog has written extensively about the dangers of distracted driving. New numbers are out supporting the case for banning cellphone usage while driving in urban areas. What may be surprising to Texas readers, however, is that rural accidents have not decreased in states that have passed cellphone bans.
According to a report that will be published in the journal Transportation Research, the cellphone ban in the state that was examined experienced an increase in car accident rates. But Houston readers will probably like to know that the study found that accident rates in heavily populated urban areas fell after bans were enacted.
– Article By Richard Weaver
The study compared a state that enacted a statewide cellphone usage ban in 2001 with a state that still allows cellphone usage while driving. Accident rates over the years showed that the cellphone ban worked in urban areas. Texas does not ban cellphones while driving.
One of the researchers, a computer science professor at a large, public university, said that there could be many reasons why rural accident rates are up, including that cellphone bans aren’t enforced as stringently in rural areas as they are in cities. The professor said that more research will be needed to collect more data from rural areas to determine is there truly is a correlation.
But one thing is for certain, using a cellphone while driving is dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that 5,000 people die every year due to distracted driving. It not only puts your own safety at risk, it imperils the safety of passengers and other drivers on the road. So whether rural or urban, think twice about making that call or sending that text while behind the wheel.
Source: Fox News, “Banning cellphones in cars only helps in cities,” Nov. 19, 2012