Proof is in, banning teen texting cuts fatalities by as much as 11% according to a new study about state laws and if they are working.  There are different laws banning texting in different states but the ones that took aim at teenagers and allows someone to be pulled over for texting as an offence worked the best. Some states still do not allow them to pull you over unless you do something else wrong like go through a stop sign first (and texting, ouy), then they can pull you over.  According to the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health “the results of a study provide strong evidence that the primarily enforced texting laws seem to be reaching the intended subpopulations that are most at risk for texting while driving”

Over 11 years of data from 48 states, after controlled for other factors that may influence crash risk, they determined that just having a texting law was linked to a 2.3% decline in overall traffic fatalities but there were a lot of variations to different bans.  31 states have passed texting-while-driving bans with 24 aimed at all drivers and 7 just at young drivers.  Overall the results were that more effective if the law allows the police to pull you over just for texting and even more affective when it was aimed just at teens.

What does this mean? It means that common sense will save your life. Don’t text and drive, especially if you’re a new driver. All states should make this a primary reason to pull someone over.  At least we’re making strides.