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Texting while driving can be a serious problem

Teenage distracted with phone and texting while driving

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On behalf of Strom & Associates, Ltd. posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

Texting while a person is driving causes many catastrophic injuries in Illinois and around the country. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has reported that text messaging increases the risk of crashing by 23 times over driving when not distracted.

In 2010, driver distraction accounted for about 18 percent of all vehicle accident fatalities as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This totals approximately 3,092 people. Other injuries resulting from texting and driving were tabulated at 416,000 people. Additionally, a Pew survey indicated that 40 percent of all American teenagers said they rode with people who use a cellphone that could put people in danger. Furthermore, 11 percent of drivers ages 18 to 20 reportedly were in a vehicle accident during which someone was sending and receiving texts.

To combat the texting and driving issue, the Federal Communications Commission along with other government agencies and safety organizations have collaborated on ways to stop it. For instance, the public has received new education about the dangers of distracted driving. Innovative technologies also now prevent people from sending and receiving messages in a moving vehicle. Other devices help reduce incidences of texting and driving. The federal government also has urged parents to pull over to a safe place before using a cellphone, and in doing so, it will set an example for teenagers to use phones safely.

Many states have already banned using a cellphone or texting while operating a vehicle. In some jurisdictions, hands-free use is permitted. A personal injury lawyer could possibly help a person who suffered catastrophic injuries caused by a driver who was distracted by using a cellphone.

Source: Federal Communications Commission, “The Dangers of Texting While Driving“, September 19, 2014

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