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Rudisill TM, Zhu M. The association between states’ texting regulations and the prevalence of texting while driving among United States’ high school students. Annals of Epidemiology. 2015 Sep.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Abstract

Purpose

To determine which distracted driving laws were associated with decreased texting while driving among U.S. teenage drivers.

Methods

Data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey were merged with state’s distracted driving legislation. The prevalence of texting while driving was assessed for different laws using log binomial regression.

Results

Approximately 39.0% of students reported texting while driving at least once in the 30 days before survey. Compared to states with universal texting bans along with young driver all cellphone bans, the adjusted ratio of texting while driving was 0.94 (95% confidence interval, CI, 0.74, 1.21) in states with no bans, 1.34 (95% CI 1.11, 1.63) for young driver bans only, 1.21 (95% CI 0.98, 1.49) in states with bans for young drivers but no young driver all cellphone bans, and 1.06 (95% CI 0.85, 1.32) in states with universal texting bans. The prevalence of texting was 29% less in states with delays of full licensure for texting offenses (Rate ratio=0.71; 95% CI 0.59, 0.86).

Conclusions

Universal texting bans along with young driver all cellphone bans may be more effective in reducing texting while driving. Delays of full licensure may dissuade young drivers from texting and driving.

Key Words

Automobile driving; adolescent; text messaging; epidemiology