In 2015, Mississippi became the 45th state to ban texting while driving. The state passed this law in hopes that it would minimize the amount of car crashes associated with distracted driving.
Despite this, recent studies show that Mississippi is one of the worst states when it comes to frequent phone use while driving. While most states have banned the behavior, distracted driving accidents have not decreased since 2015. Here are some reasons why:
Distracted drivers are hard to catch in the act.
Most drivers treat these texting while driving laws in the same way they treat speed limits. They believe as long as there is no cop in sight, they can get away with it. If they place their phone below the window and they do not tilt their head down, no one will notice one hand on the wheel and the other on the phone.
Police and other drivers do take notice of erratic driving patterns, but in some cases it could be too late. Texting drivers who develop strategies to evade police notice will continue to do it to get away with it until it is too late and their mistake injures innocent drivers and passengers.
Phones are more addictive.
As time advances, electronic companies continue to find breakthroughs on how to advance the technology of cellular devices. Whether it is a new gaming trend or a creative way to communicate with your friends, the onslaught of new apps makes it harder for people to put their phones down.
Not all distracted driver accidents involving phones are the result of texting. Phones now allow drivers to check their emails, post on social media or watch videos on the go. As they continue to evolve, so do the ways a person can get in a serious accident. While some of the states that have a full handheld phone ban have some of the least distracted rates, the state-by-state rankings are inconsistent with individual state law.
Phones are not the only distraction.
Even if all states were to ban any cellular phone use behind the wheel, they would only be getting rid of one method of distracted driving. You will still have people who apply make-up, eat, drink, change the radio station, and talk to other passengers behind the wheel.
While cell phones are one of the most frequent causes of distracted driving accidents, people will always find ways to occupy themselves behind the wheel. Look carefully for any signs of distracted driving so you can know when to keep your distance from inattentive drivers.