A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) showing texting bans are not reducing crashes reinforces Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company’s position that a three-pronged approach is needed to combat distracted driving. This approach includes more education, better enforcement of laws and technological solutions.
“Texting while driving, without a doubt, puts lives in danger everyday,” said Mark Pizzi, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. “People who do it put themselves and all of us who share the road with them at risk, period.”
The HLDI study released Tuesday found no reduction in crashes after laws take effect that ban texting by all drivers. While it’s illegal to text while driving in most U.S. states, noncompliance is a likely reason texting bans aren’t reducing crashes. Survey results indicate that 45 percent of 18 to 24 year old drivers (the group most likely to text) reported doing so anyway in states that bar all drivers from texting. Many respondents who knew it was illegal to text said they didn’t think police were strongly enforcing the bans.
“While its encouraging that many states have passed laws banning texting behind the wheel, research is clear that distracted driving increases crash risk and Nationwide continues to believe that laws are not enough to curb this dangerous behavior,” said Bill Windsor, Nationwide’s Consumer Safety Officer. “Laws heighten public awareness of the problem, but without strong and consistent enforcement, those laws won’t change driver behavior or save lives.”
In addition to supporting the enactment and enforcement of laws to ban texting while driving, Nationwide is committed to reducing distracted driving through continued targeted research and encouraging the development of technology to mitigate risks.
Nationwide publicly supports and lobbies for legislation, including the Alert Act, which provides states with incentives to ban texting while driving and calls on the FCC to work with companies on technology solutions that will reduce distracted driving.