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Driving While Texting Can Cause Injury

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Texting has become a national pastime.
People young and old have taken to sending text messages via their cell phones.
Also known as SMS (short message service), the popularity of texting is shown in the statistics.
More than 135 billion text messages were sent out on a monthly basis in 2009, according to figures from the CTIA-The Wireless Association.
At first glance, texting seems to be a harmless endeavor; with a drop in verbal communication between human beings appearing to be the only side effect of its use.
However, texting is also taking a toll on the driving lane.
At least 200,000 accidents in 2008 were believed to be caused by text messaging drivers, a number estimated to account for 3 percent of all car crashes that year.
Separate of texting, cell phone use was estimated to be responsible for 25 percent of all crashes in 2008.
In response to these statistics, several states have passed laws banning the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving.
Despite levying fines to violators, all four states participating in an insurance industry study saw an increase in collision rates after passing laws banning motorists from talking or texting.
The study also found that motorists under 25 years old were more likely to drive and text than any other age group of drivers, according to an InformationWeek article.
Crash rates for this age group increased in all four states studied.
Drivers ages 18 to 24 years old cited a perceived weak level of enforcement by law officials as reason for violating their state's cell phone/text texting laws.
To support their position, advocates for state and federal bans on driver texting/cell phone point to research on motorist reaction times to changing road conditions.
A Car & Driver Magazine study found motorist response to hazardous road conditions while texting was two to three times slower on average than driving while intoxicated over the legal limit.
Tests were conducted on a straight roadway closed off from other vehicles.
The increased number of state bans and several studies examining motorist texting should raise legal liability concerns not only among drivers, but employers as well.
Recent personal injury lawsuits show employers can be held financially liable if the person responsible for the crash was texting or making calls related to work.
In some of the cases where the employer was found liable, whether the call or text was made after work hours or in the employee's personal car was irrelevant to the outcome.
Employers can also be held liable on the grounds of direct negligence if they were aware the employee in question texted or used cell phones while driving for work-related purposes.
If the irresponsible texting habits of a motorist have you or a love one suffering injury, consult a personal injury lawyer to discuss possible options for compensation.
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