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Does banning texting and driving reduce car accidents?

Distracted Driving Awareness month is the best time to point out the fact that distracted driving is still responsible for hundreds of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries across the country annually. In 2016 alone, approximately 3,500 people died and 391,000 were seriously injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers, according to researchers. While there are a number of distractions that take a driver's eyes off the road, the most common these days is texting and driving.

Research has shown time and time again that taking one's eyes off the road for even a few seconds drastically raises the chances of being involved in a crash. Even though most drivers are aware of these risks, it does not prevent them from looking down at their phone and endangering the lives of everyone nearby. One way states have attempted to curb the menace is by banning texting while driving, as New Mexico has done.

Recently released research has shown that laws that prohibit or ban the use of cellphones behind the wheel reduce crashes and resulting emergency room visits annually. States that implemented the ban saw a 4% decrease per year in the number of emergency room visits for car accident injuries than before it.

While the study is not conclusive, there is no doubt that distracted driving is dangerous and texting and driving is a real problem on our roadways. A driver can take all possible precautions, but if the driver in the oncoming vehicle is not paying attention to the road, there is little they can do to avoid an accident. It might be possible to hold negligent drivers accountable for their behavior and an experienced attorney can discuss recovery options with accident victims.

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