NPR reports on studies and experts that raise doubts on cell phone bans.
Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, agrees but says there’s just one problem: “We don’t know if [the demonstration project] had any effect on crashes — and that’s a key measure.”
The institute’s own study shows that states with cellphone bans have seen no real decrease in accident rates.
“The curious thing is that even as cellphone use has increased exponentially by drivers in vehicles, we see no surge in crashes,” Rader says. “So as this trend has accelerated, with more and more people having phones in their cars and using them, the number of overall crashes has been declining.”
Cellphone use behind the wheel is no doubt a dangerous distraction, Rader says. But the overall problem of distracted driving is much bigger — it’s about fiddling with the car radio or eating a sandwich as much as it is cellphones, he says.
Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association acknowledges that there is no evidence proving that state bans reduce crashes.
Photo Credit: Robert F. Bukaty/AP