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Will phone ban reduce accidents linked to distracted drivers?

Numerous reports and studies have been released regarding the negative aspects of cell phone use while driving. As such, many cities in Texas have issued bans regarding texting, or cell phone use in general, for those who are behind the wheel. While the intention behind these bans are certainly good, do creating laws about cell phone use while driving really help with the number of accidents linked to distracted drivers? According to information provided by one particular area of the state, the answer to that question is no.

Bans on texting while driving are not a new thing. Some cities have had laws banning texting and driving for some time now, but new reports claim these laws have done little to stop accidents attributed to this behavior. With the known dangers that cell phone use and driving pose how can this be true?

In the southern part of the state, texting bans have been in place in several cities for approximately four years. In these years, only 161 citations for texting have been written; the number of car accidents have remained about the same and fatal collisions have been increasing. When asked about texting and driving laws, it seems that many residents were unaware of the bans imposed.

When it comes to laws like this, public education and enforcement is key. Without either of those things, these bans will do little to protect Texas residents. Sadly, too many people simply feel that cell phone use will not affect them while driving, but the number of car accidents linked to this behavior is a frightening statistic. Distracted drivers can be found liable for the damages sustained in collisions. Victims -- or in the event of fatality, surviving family members -- may file civil claims against these drivers in an attempt to seek compensation for any economic losses suffered in crashes linked to this type of behavior.

Source: valleycentral.com, "Texting ban does little to reduce traffic accidents", Brett Crandall, Jan. 20, 2015

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