Study: No Evidence Cell Phone,
Texting Bans Reduce Crashes
An overview of available distracted-driving research concludes that there is no evidence indicating whether cell phone or texting bans have reduced
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), which represents the
highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto
Rico, reviewed 350 papers on distracted
driving published from 2000 to 2011 and
found that existing research is “
incomplete or contradictory,” according to Barbara Harsha, executive director of GHSA.
“Despite all that has been written about
driver distraction, there is still a lot that
we do not know,” she said. “Clearly, more
studies need to be done addressing both
the scope of the problem and how to ef-
fectively address it.”
The report, produced with a grant from
State Farm, said limited research did sug-
gest that cell phone use does increase
crash risk, but no one knows by how
much. Additionally, there is no conclu-
sive evidence about whether hands-free
cell phone use is any safer than hand-
held use. Although texting while driving
“probably” increases risk, no evidence ex-
ists to prove if cell phone use or texting
bans actually reduce accidents.
you have to look for trends and notice patterns. Every time I have
come across a situation involving negative feedback, miscommuni-cation was at the center, along with certain customer expectations
that were not met. It is not that our customers always come to us
with unrealistic expectations. We must ask ourselves if we did a
good job of explaining the claims process. Have we assigned a realistic time frame to the process? Did we explain coverages up front?
However, no one should point fingers, as that is not an effective use
of anyone’s time.
How do you reinforce a job well done?
I would of course congratulate him or her on a great job, and then
ask what he or she thinks was done to make the policyholder or
claimant happy. I also give employees positive reinforcement on a
daily basis. Not all employees are looking for a medal, but they want
to know that you appreciate what they are doing. Then, when you
do have to talk about a performance issue, the employee knows you
are not just ragging on them.
Another thing I do is praise proper grammar in letters. Nothing drives me crazier that getting work from an employee in “text
speak.” We have gotten so accustomed to shorthand that we have
forgotten what it means to deliver information in full sentences. An
employee might initially look at me like I have two heads, but I am
happy I did not have to rewrite that letter.
How do you handle frustrating situations in the office?
As a manager, I recognize how difficult it is to balance everything, from email to regular mail to getting closing ratios up and
dealing with losses. There is so much going on that we tend to
forget there are also humans to interact with. I do not sweat
the small stuff, and I think that lends to a much more relaxed
Additionally, managers must be able to adapt to what employees do. I like to give the advice of keeping an open mind. Not
everybody is perfect nor do they do things the way you do. Adjusters are not at the same company for 20 years anymore. There
are lay offs, and professionals may be starting over in a new
environment. It may be difficult to get used to, but when conflicts
of this nature arise, it is important not to assign fault or point
What advice do you have for those who want to advance in
Do not let somebody tell you that you are not capable of doing something. Do not let that stop you from pushing forward. I got that a
lot early on. When I came through the ranks of property insurance,
there were not very many women. Also, learn to have a thick skin.
There are many things that you must do in your job, and you simply
cannot take everything personally.