Universal Handheld Phone Bans Show Promising Results for Teen Driver Safety

A new study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital shows encouraging results from universal handheld phone bans for all drivers in relation to teen driver safety.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young adults between the ages of 15 and 24, with distraction being a major factor. Between 2008 and 2016, young drivers in states with a universal handheld phone ban were 58 percent less likely to have a phone conversation while driving as those in states without a ban. And this effect increases the longer the law is in place.

What makes a universal handheld phone ban more successful than an age-based ban is that it’s easier to enforce. And the perceived ability to enforce a law tends to result in higher compliance.