Call Us 24/7 · (844) 632-7274

Knowledge. Experience. Results.
Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys

Michael J. Schreyer, JD
Founding Partner
Andrew D. Alpert, JD
Founding Partner

Have laws against cell phone use when driving caused a decrease in traffic accidents?

By Alpert Schreyer on May 31, 2016

Cell phone and distracted drivingSince the 1990s when cellphone use became widespread, we have known that using a cellphone while driving a car is unsafe because it pulls our attention away from our surroundings. Almost all U.S. states have laws against cellphone use while driving; these bans vary from state to state.

The first ban on talking on a handheld cellphone while driving was put in place by New York state in 2001. The first ban specifically aimed at texting was implemented by Washington, D.C. in 2008.

Maryland has banned handheld cell phone use while driving, hand-held and hands-free cell use for novice drivers, and texting while driving for all drivers.

Such bans are intended to make the roads safer from distracted drivers. But are they effective?

A 2014 meta-study by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine aimed to find out.

Which types of laws are effective?

To begin with, researchers addressed the question of whether bans aimed at changing drivers’ behavior have historically been effective. State laws with “publicized strong enforcement” have reduced driving while under the influence of alcohol, increased seat belt use and ultimately led to a decline in crash deaths.

It’s challenging to measure the effectiveness of cellphone bans and the safety risk posed by cellphone use for several reasons, a few being that multiple other aspects of a situation can contribute to a driver’s level of distraction, crashes are not always reported to the police, and people can’t be trusted to own up to cellphone use while driving, especially where it is illegal.

In one national study that examined fatal crash data in all states, with and without bans on handheld cellphones, from 2000-2010, researchers found that the bans resulted in a marked reduction in the number of people under 55 involved in fatal crashes.

Another study measured hand-held cellphone bans on all drivers, texting bans for all drivers, laws prohibiting drivers under 20 from cellphone use, and bans that restrict intermediate license holders from using cellphones. It found that all-driver bans on handheld cellphone use were very effective.

Even under texting bans, people persist

Unfortunately, people seem to persist in texting while driving even if they’re breaking a law. “There is scant evidence of the effects of texting bans on the rates of drivers’ texting,” the study’s authors note.

Laws against forms of distracted driving such as cellphone use can sometimes reduce dangerous practices that put more people on the road at risk, but even with the most well-intentioned and enforceable laws, people still exhibit negligence and cause crashes. If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash that was the fault of a negligent driver, call the experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC for your free case evaluation. We will listen to you, review your case, and get you the compensation you deserve.


Free Case

(844) 632-7274

Free Case Evaluation Form

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the law firm of Alpert Schreyer, LLC. Our experienced, tenacious attorneys will help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

(844) 632-7274

(844) 632-7274

We have multiple offices in Maryland to assist you with your case. Click on any of our five office locations for address info and directions.

Bethesda, MD Frederick, MD Lexington Park, MD Bowie, MD Waldorf, MD

Serving All of Maryland and D.C. for over 25 Years
Find an office near you

Alpert Schreyer, LLC Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Maryland.

Alpert Schreyer, LLC in Waldorf represents personal injury clients throughout Maryland, including those in Bowie, Annapolis, Prince Frederick, Upper Marlboro La Plata, Bethesda and Leonardtown located in Charles County, Prince George’s County, St. Mary’s County, Calvert County and Montgomery County.

© by Alpert Schreyer, LLC. Bowie Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, Waldorf Personal Injury Lawyers and Southern Maryland Car Accident Lawyers. All Rights Reserved.| Law Firm SEO by

The ultimate resolution of my case has been excellent, far better than I could have imagined. I couldn't recommend anyone more highly.
Maryland Injury Case
Date published: 09/06/2018
5 / 5 stars