BOSTON (CBS) — Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths and countless injuries every year. Texting is one of the biggest offenders, but according to a new study, laws that ban texting behind the wheel are making a difference.

Forty-seven out of 50 states, including Massachusetts, have laws that restrict texting while driving.

To study whether this is an effective deterrent, researchers at Texas A&M University School of Public Health looked 16 states between 2007 and 2014 and found that those with a texting ban had about a 4 percent reduction in emergency room visits due to motor vehicle accidents. That’s essentially more than 1,600 traffic-related emergency room visits per year.

Those numbers were even higher in states where police officers can pull over a motorist for texting alone even without a moving violation, like they do in Massachusetts.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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