Cellphone bans have been linked to a decrease in urban traffic accidents, according to Medical News Today.
University of Illinois researchers found that cellphone bans could lower the rate of traffic accidents in urban areas. However, cellphone bans have been associated with an unusually high number of wrecks in rural locations.
Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science and mathematics at the University of Illinois, believes that shortsighted research into cellphone bans won’t provide very much concrete data regarding the ban’s effectiveness.
“Most other studies focus on a very short-term analysis,” Jacobson explained. “A law is enacted; what’s the impact immediately? We try to take a much longer view and look at the impact not just over six months to a year, but over several years.”
According to FOX News, researchers poured over data from New York City, which has banned cellphone use in vehicles for several years. This information was then compared to traffic data from Pennsylvania, an area that currently doesn’t have any cellphone bans.
The University of Illinois study looked at traffic accident reports over the past several years. Previous studies into cellphone bans and vehicular accidents previously only focused on just a few months.
While bans decreased the amount of wrecks in urban areas, the same cannot be said for rural locations. Jacobson believes that a number of different factors may have contributed to the rise of accidents in less populated sections of the country.
Study co-author Douglas King believes blanket cellphone bans may not be the answer to the problem.
“What we found in our research is that the cellphone ban was associated with different outcomes in different groups of counties,” King said. “Based on this research, it suggests that a blanket cellphone ban may not always lead to a greater benefit. Based on the seven-year time period that we were able to examine, the outcome in each group of counties after the ban was not uniformly beneficial.”
Do you believe that cellphone bans are effective?