Since 2007, many states passed laws prohibiting text messaging while
driving. Using vehicular fatality data from across the United States
and standard difference-in-differences techniques, bans appear moderately successful at reducing single-vehicle, single-occupant accidents if bans are universally applied and enforced as a primary offense. Bans enforced as secondary offenses, however, have at best no effect on accidents. Any reduction in accidents following texting bans is short-lived, however, with accidents returning to near former levels within a few months. This is suggestive of drivers reacting to the announcement of the legislation only to return to old habits shortly afterward. (JEL D12, K42, R41)
Abouk, Rahi, and Scott Adams.
"Texting Bans and Fatal Accidents on Roadways: Do They Work? Or Do Drivers Just React to Announcements of Bans?"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise