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Ed Normand
Ed Normand
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Dangers of Driving While Texting

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Recent studies have confirmed what most of us know already: that driving while using a cell phone is highly dangerous. In fact, after just 3 minutes of driving and talking on a cell phone there is a higher risk of an auto accident than when the driver is legally impaired with a .08 percent blood alcohol level. The theory is that one has to concentrate to such a degree when talking on the phone that they lose the ability to remain safely alert to traffic conditions. The tests put drivers in a simulator and engaged in cell phone conversations. The same drivers then became legally drunk and drove the same simulator without a cell phone. The results were dramatic. The cell phone users had multiple accidents and the alcohol impaired drivers had none. Testing also showed that the result was the same even when a hands free unit was used.

One can only imagine the number of car accidents that happen when people text while they drive. Some have advocated laws to prevent driving while texting. In a civil court a jury can evaluate the negligence of a driver based on the use of a cell phone. Texting while driving is so reckless that it should subject the offender to liability for punitive damages. Laws already subject alcohol impaired drivers to liability for punitive damages. Driving and using a cell phone, based on these test results, it is possible that similar liability may result from driving and using a cell phone.