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Texting Accidents: What You Should Know

iPhone, Blackberry, or other mobile in hand, text messaging has become a fad of the 21st century. Just as smoking was seen as stylish at one time, hammering out 160 characters or less on a handset has become today's definition of cool. Consider the fact that some wireless carriers offer text-only plans for a technology that used to be all about "Can you hear me now?".

In a 2009 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study, researchers found more than two-thirds of drivers admitted to using a mobile while driving, and over 20 percent admitted to texting at the wheel. The majority of text message offenders were teens.

Regardless of age, texting behind the wheel can prove even more dangerous than driving impaired, while subsequently increasing accident risk by up to 23 times. With these sobering statistics, it's no wonder that 27 states have enacted all-out texting bans, while others restrict handset use behind the wheel. Many cases of text messaging negligence have made national headlines. For example, the California commuter rail operator, who was texting at the controls, is blamed for the deadliest rail accident in recent U.S. history. Technology allowed for investigators to posthumously review the operator's cell phone records and pin texting as the cause of his distraction.

If you've recently been involved in an accident and suspect negligent text messaging is to blame, then it's time to get informed on your state's laws regarding wireless use behind the wheel. Legislation is evolving rapidly, and you need legal counsel to decode the ins and outs of text messaging law while ensuring a fair and thorough investigation.

Text messaging may be the latest irresponsible behavior to take place behind the wheel, but for those who choose to take such risks the message needs to be made clear: Responsible drivers aren't going to stand for the foolish choices other drivers make.