Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
AHA News: Calorie Data on Menus Could Generate Significant Health, Economic BenefitsPandemic Has Left Nearly 43 Million Americans Without WorkPeople Are Avoiding the ER During COVID-19 Crisis at Their Peril: StudyAs Postponed Surgeries Resume, Can U.S. Hospitals Handle the Strain?Most Americans Still More Worried About COVID-19 Spread Than the EconomyBig Need for Blood Donations as Postponed Surgeries ResumeEmergency Transport Can Surprise Many With Big BillsOnly Half of Americans Say They'd Get a Coronavirus Vaccine: SurveyIf Prescribed Opioids for Pain, Ask Lots of Questions: FDAState Texting Bans Are Saving Teen Drivers' LivesMillions of Older Americans Can't Get Enough FoodLayoffs and Losses: COVID-19 Leaves U.S. Hospitals in Financial CrisisFDA Goes After Unproven COVID-19 Antibody TestsDuring Droughts, Many Poor Americans Will Lack Clean Tap Water: StudyDid the Movie 'Joker' Reinforce Prejudice Against Mentally Ill?AHA News: How to Get the Most Out of Health AppsCoronavirus Conspiracy Theories Abound, and They Could Cause Real HarmAHA News: Health Emergency? Don't Hesitate to Get HelpAn Expert's Guide to Fact-Checking Coronavirus Info OnlineRacial, Ethnic Gaps in Insurance Put Moms, Babies at Risk: StudyCelebrity Suicides Spawn 'Copycat' Tragedies, Study Shows
The Doctor Gap: In Areas of Greatest Need, Primary Care Is a Team Effort">
The Doctor Gap: In Areas of Greatest Need, Primary Care Is a Team Effort
The Doctor Gap: Where Are All the Mental Health Care Providers?New, Graphic Health Warnings Coming for U.S. Cigarette PacksWith New Boost From Medicare, 'Telemedicine' Steps Up to Fight CoronavirusThe Doctor Gap: In Rural America, It's All Hands on DeckThe Doctor Gap: A Training Program for Country-Doc WannabesDon't Believe All the 'Science' on CBD ProductsMany Car Crash Deaths Involve Alcohol Levels Below Legal Limit: StudyThe Doctor Gap: Does America Have a Physician Shortage?12 Weeks of Paid Maternity Leave Benefits Everyone: StudyVaping Videos Soaring on YouTubeU.S. Blood Donors Needed in Face of COVID-19 CrisisIt's Tough for Clinical Trial Participants to Learn ResultsBogus Coronavirus 'Meds' Targeted by FDAOnly 1 in 5 Have Fast Access to State-of-the-Art Stroke CareOne Key Way to Curb Coronavirus Spread: More Paid Sick LeaveU.S. Drug Prices Have Risen Three Times Faster Than InflationU.S. Announces More Travel Restrictions as First Coronavirus Death ReportedIt's Not Medical Outcomes That Drive Patients' Hospital ReviewsChicago's Short-Lived 'Soda Tax' Cut Consumption, Boosted Health Care FundsSocial Media Stokes Myths About VaccinesBrand-Name Rx Rise After Docs Get Drug Company Perks: StudyAs Prices Rise for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Meds, Patients Go WithoutRoll Up Your Sleeve and Donate Blood for Cancer PatientsShotguns Often Play Tragic Role in Rural Teens' Suicides: StudyPrice Hikes Have Patients Turning to Craigslist for Insulin, Asthma InhalersConsumers Waste Twice as Much Food as Experts ThoughtStricter Clean Air Laws Could Save Thousands of Lives a Year: StudyCaregivers Give Short Shrift to Their Own Health
Links
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

State Texting Bans Are Saving Teen Drivers' Lives

HealthDay News
by By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 15th 2020

new article illustration

FRIDAY, May 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- In a finding that illustrates how distracted driving laws are saving lives, researchers report that car crash deaths among teens plunged by one-third during a period when the number of U.S. states with such laws on the books tripled.

"We found that states which had primary enforced distracted driving laws had lower fatal crashes involving 16- to 19-year-old drivers and passengers," said study author Dr. Michael Flaherty. He's an attending physician in pediatric critical care medicine with both Massachusetts General Hospital and the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Boston.

Flaherty explained that "primary" distracted driving laws are the kind that authorize police to pull over a driver specifically because of a distracted driving infraction. In all, 40 states had that kind of law in place to ban texting while driving by 2017.

By 2017, another six states had so-called "secondary" texting bans on the books, meaning distracted driving could only be cited if a driver was already pulled over for another reason.

Beyond texting alone, 34 states had banned all cellphone use among novice drivers by 2017, Flaherty added, while 12 states had banned all cellphone use among drivers of all ages.

To assess the impact of those laws, Flaherty's team reviewed statistics on 38,000 fatal crashes, drawn from U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. They indicated that between 2007 and 2017, the overall teenage car crash death rate amounted to about 20 for every 100,000 drivers. (That rate was far higher among 19-year-olds -- at 27.2 -- than among 16-year-olds, at 10.7.)

Year-by-year, however, the overall teen rate dropped considerably, from a high of almost 30 per 100,000 in 2007 to 18.7 per 100,000 by 2018.

And according to information gathered by the Governor's Highway Safety Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, that development coincided with the addition of distracted driving bans in 32 states.

Primary statewide texting bans were linked to a 29% drop in the teenage car crash death rate, while secondary texting bans were associated with a 20% drop, the investigators found.

Flaherty, an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, suggested that in a perfect world the most effective type of distracted driving law is usually the kind that applies to all drivers and all cellphone use of any kind.

And he added that the findings are a testament to the lifesaving effects of such laws.

"Parents should use these laws as a key opportunity to start a conversation with their teen drivers about the dangers of driving while distracted, including cellphones, eating and manipulating the radio while driving," Flaherty said.

"They also need to set a key example by setting the expectation that phone conversations can wait until you arrive at your destination," he stressed.

"Just as we have made 'drunk driving' unacceptable, so too should [be] 'distracted driving,'" Flaherty added.

To that end, David Reich, public relations director of The National Road Safety Foundation, a nonprofit organization, said the ideal is to combine such laws with good enforcement and safety education.

"The three-pronged approach has been effective in getting motorists to use seat belts and reduce the incidence of drinking and driving," Reich said. "Social norming comes from ongoing public education. More people now consider it unacceptable or bad behavior to talk on the phone while driving."

That thought was seconded by Catherine McDonald, assistant professor in the school of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

"No one strategy will prevent cellphone use while driving," she said. "Education, policy and enforcement are [all] key. Parents need to model safe driving behavior, including no cellphone use while driving, well before their teen reaches driving age," she added.

"Parents also need to set and enforce non-negotiable house rules for driving," McDonald said. "Including no cellphone use while driving, whether hands-free or handheld, and no speeding."

The findings were published online May 15 in the journal Pediatrics.

More information

There's more about distracted driving at The National Road Safety Foundation.




328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville,
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203
Fax:(251)575-9459


powered by centersite dot net