Impact of texting laws on motor vehicular fatalities in the United States

Am J Public Health. 2014 Aug;104(8):1370-7. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301894. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Using a panel study design, we examined the effects of different types of texting bans on motor vehicular fatalities. We used the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and a difference-in-differences approach to examine the incidence of fatal crashes in 2000 through 2010 in 48 US states with and without texting bans. Age cohorts were constructed to examine the impact of these bans on age-specific traffic fatalities. Primarily enforced laws banning all drivers from texting were significantly associated with a 3% reduction in traffic fatalities in all age groups, and those banning only young drivers from texting had the greatest impact on reducing deaths among those aged 15 to 21 years. Secondarily enforced restrictions were not associated with traffic fatality reductions in any of our analyses.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Text Messaging / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult