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Does outlawing texting while driving work?

Mark Robison, writing for the Reno Gazette-Journal, starts out by saying that - yes - texting while driving and use of smartphones will increase distraction, and, thus, increase the number of car accidents that we see because of negligent drivers.

But, he asks, does outlawing texting while driving really work? In other words, do laws prohibiting it do anything to alter driver behavior?

For instance, a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association says, "There is no evidence that cellphone or texting bans have reduced crashes."

Yet a study done by Virginia Tech suggests that truck drivers who text and drive are a whopping 23 times more likely to cause a wreck.

But, at the end of Robison's piece, he doesn't come to a conclusion. He writes, "There's not enough strong research one way or the other on handheld cellphone and texting bans while driving."

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal, "Fact Checker: Do cellphone, texting bans decrease car crashes?" by Mark Robison, 09/27/11

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