Laws in states like Maryland that prohibit drivers from texting or using handheld cellphones are having an effect, according to a survey by Consumer Reports. The organization found that drivers in those states are less likely to engage in these distracted driving practices. The Consumer Reports study was based on a survey conducted in December of more than 1,000 people. Of the respondents, 71 percent said that they had not engaged in texting, chatting on a cellphone or operating a smartphone while driving during the previous year. More than 50 percent of the drivers said that they did not do so because of state laws. Those are very encouraging numbers, and seem to indicate that state bans on the use of cellphones may be helping reduce the risk of traffic collisions. Of respondents who lived in states that fully prohibited texting, 56 percent said they reduced or stopped such behavior because of that law or one banning the use of handheld phones. In states that do not ban texting, or have a ban that applies only to some drivers, only about 34 percent bothered to avoid these dangerous practices. This study should lay to rest any questions about the effectiveness of state laws banning the use of cellphones while driving. Many motorists are not only aware of these laws but are actually modifying their driving practices because of them. However, the survey also found that at least 25 percent of motorists were not even sure of their state’s laws regarding cellphone use at the wheel.
The Washington, D.C., area car accident lawyer at The Abelson Law Firm, represent people who have been seriously injured in car accidents across Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area.