Statistics from a study conducted by a southern university prove that texting-and-driving laws are working. The study shows that states with primary texting-and-driving bans show on average a three percent drop in motor vehicle accident fatalities. This decline translates to an average of 19 lives saved per year in each state that has enacted such legislation.
According to a July 1, 2013 article in The Gazette-Virginian when texting while driving became a primary offense in our state, a primary driving offense means that police can stop a driver for violating the law. With a secondary driving offense, on the other hand, police must first pull over a driver for a different violation before issuing a citation for the secondary offense. States where texting-while-driving was only a secondary violation did not show a significant drop in accident deaths.
Statistics relating to primary texting-while-driving bans were even more positive for laws that specifically targeted drivers between the ages of 15 and 21. In this age range, there was an 11 percent decline in motor vehicle deaths. Considering that approximately 387,000 people were injured and 3,331 people were killed in distracted driving car accidents in 2011, any lives that can be saved through the implementation of new driving laws and regulations can be considered a positive step forward for drivers throughout the country.
Family members of fatal motor vehicle accident victims may wish to investigate whether the accident was caused by texting-and-driving. While no amount of money could ever right such a wrong, the pursuit of a wrongful death action could be a way for family members to seek restitution for burial expenses and gain some sense of closure relating to the loss of their loved one.
Source: Birmingham Business Journal, “UAB study: States with texting-while-driving laws have lower traffic fatalities” Alan Alexander, Jul. 28, 2014