Impact of Texting Laws on Motor Vehicular Fatalities in the United States

This article reports on a panel study that was undertaken to examine the effects of different types of texting bans on the incidence of motor vehicular fatalities. The authors used the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data and a difference-in-differences approach to examine the incidence of fatal crashes in 2000 through 2010 in 48 US states, with (n = 31 states) and without bans on texting while driving. The authors also tracked the driver’s age to determine age-specific traffic fatalities. The results showed that primary laws banning all drivers from texting (n = 24 states) were significantly associated with a 3% reduction in traffic fatalities in all age groups. However, the laws that ban only young drivers from texting (n = 7 states) were found to have the greatest impact on reducing deaths among 15 to 21 year old drivers. Restrictions on texting that were only secondarily enforced were not associated with traffic fatality reductions in any of the study’s analyses. The authors conclude with a discussion of their findings, emphasizing that many other factors, including alcohol and seatbelt policies, may be interrelated with mobile device use by drivers.


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  • Accession Number: 01539686
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 4 2014 4:38PM