Report: Laws Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving Don’t Lower Accident Rates

The NYT Wheels Blog reports:

Laws banning cellphone use while driving apparently haven’t reduced crashes, according to a study released on Friday that compared the number of total crashes before the ban with the number after. The study found virtually no difference in the numbers, a finding that had the researchers scratching their heads.

“We were very surprised,” said Adrian Lund, the president of the Highway Loss Data Institute that conducted the study and an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The thought was, of course that if law were passed that decreased cellphone use, then there should be fewer crashes. But that was not the case.

“You know that there should be fewer,” he said. “We were looking for that, and we aren’t seeing that pattern,” said Mr. Lund, who is also the insurance institute’s president.

You can see the relevant charts in this document. For a summary of state laws on cell phone use while driving, see here.

Any guesses as to the likelihood that jurisdictions will repeal their bans in light of the evidence that they don’t work?