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U.S. drivers more likely to use cell phones while driving

Tennessee is among a number of states that has passed laws aimed at stamping out the growing threat of texting and driving. Unfortunately, the problem remains rampant.

Texting is becoming an increasingly important part of the lives of Americans, and especially the young. Unfortunately, many of these young Americans are so enamored of their smart phones and tablet devices that they even text while driving, leading to a much higher chance of getting into a car accident.

A recent international survey found that Americans are much more likely than Europeans to use cell phones while driving. Nearly 69 percent of Americans ages 18 to 64 admitted to using cell phones while driving, compared to only 21 percent of drivers in Britain and 40 percent in France.

American states have different laws regarding cell phone use, with Tennessee imposing a fine on those drivers who violate the law. Nonetheless, the survey shows that the practice is widespread on American roadways.

Some sources say texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to get into an accident and that cell phone use plays a part in 25 percent of all traffic accidents. One study found that 16,000 people were killed in the United States between 2001 and 2007 in accidents caused by drivers using cell phones.

Those who have been injured in car accidents caused by phone-using or otherwise distracted drivers often face pain and suffering, huge medical expenses, lost wages and other costs. They may be compensated for these damages through a personal injury lawsuit. A driver who is looking at a cell phone instead of the road is not exercising the reasonable standard of care required of all drivers. When someone is injured as a result, the injured person deserves compensation.

Source: NBC News, "When it comes to texting and driving, US is No. 1," Maggie Fox, March 14, 2013

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