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Study finds thousands of deaths due to driving with cell phone

For Maryland parents, the day their teenagers get a driver's license can be an exciting, but stressful time. Parents may not be alone, as the thought of having young drivers on the road stirs up some fear for other drivers, despite the vast majority of teenagers being good drivers.

When teenagers engage in texting and driving or other forms of distracted driving, however, it can lead to car accident injuries for the teens and for others involved in the accident. A recent study, for example, found that thousands of deaths occurred due to distracted driving in 2011, along with hundreds of thousands of injuries. A major factor in these accidents was cell phone use, including texting, talking and even watching videos.

The numbers were not the only surprising feature of the study. Apparently, the accidents decreased when teens drove with other passengers in the car, as compared to driving alone. This was because the cell phone use was more rampant when the teens were driving alone.

For those injured in accidents where the other driver was using a cell phone, there may be relief in sight in a personal injury lawsuit. Texting and driving might be considered negligent driving, which could support a finding of liability against the other driver that caused the serious injury.

Moreover, many states have enacted statutes banning texting. Generally, if a person violates a motor vehicle statute, it may create a presumption that the person was driving negligently, which can support a finding of liability. Accordingly, it is vital to determine whether a driver was using a cell phone at the time of an accident, as it can have a dramatic impact on the court case.

Source: CBS Baltimore, "Teens driving with passengers in the car may be safer," Alex DeMetrick, April 15, 2013

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