Today’s youths are growing up almost as attached to their cell phones, PDA’s, iPod’s and other mobile electronic devices as they were upon birth to an umbilical cord. By the time they learn to drive, they have the habit and won’t let go. The trouble is, driving while calling, texting or checking the Internet can be fatal.

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Studies recently have shown increased teen car wreck traffic accident fatalities due to two factors: more teens driving at night, and more teens driving while texting or making cell calls.

In the years from 1999 to 2008, traffic accident deaths which involved teen drivers went up by 10 per cent. For older age groups, such deaths rose at a lower rate, and in fact driving fatalities in general have decreased.

A senior research specialist for the Texas Transportation Institute, Bernie Fetts, told the Associated Press that the increased deaths come from a “perfect storm” of key elements. One is driving at night, which is inherently more risky for anybody in any age group. Another is texting or calling while driving, which impacts a person’s ability to focus on driving.

Many teens may believe otherwise, since they’re so adept at sending text messages that it feels almost like breathing to them. But that doesn’t mean their attention to texting doesn’t divert them from full attention to their driving. And it doesn’t mean that a moment’s inattention while driving can prove fatal. About 6,000 people will die this year due to drivers talking, texting or emailing, while another 500,000 will be injured.

Americans are starting to become alarmed about the severe effects of texting or calling while driving. That’s why 23 states so far have passed laws to ban texting while driving. The national organization FocusDriven, based in Grapevine, TX, was created to fight distracted driving due to cell phones or texting, much as Mothers Against Drunk Driving was formed to fight DUI car crashes.

Oprah Winfrey of talk show fame also has added her own initiative: a “No Phone Zone” pledge for teens. Those who sign promise not to text or use their cell phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Jim S. Adler & Associates stands with those who support such safe driving campaigns and exhorts all drivers of all ages to save texts and phone calls for the proper time: when they aren’t driving a multi-ton vehicle at high speeds in complex traffic. Teens today may say such texting or calling won’t keep them from driving safely, but proof otherwise lies in the deaths of 6,000 persons. Texting car crash accidents do occur, and an unsurprising first time may prove to be a fatal last time.

Jim S. Adler & Associates is a longtime Texas personal injury law firm with offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Channelview. The law firm offers a free case review and represents victims of auto, car, SUV, truck, motorcycle, bus and other traffic accidents, as well as drunk driving accidents.

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