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Cell phone use increases despite safety warnings

If you drive in the state of New York, chances are that you know that using your cell phone while driving is against the law. The same would apply if you were driving in New Jersey or Connecticut as well. The laws are likely a result of public pressure to limit the number of accidents caused by distracted driving.

And for the most part, the public has responded. According to a recent State Farm Insurance study, fewer people are talking on their cell phones while driving. However, more people are accessing the Internet. Researchers indicated that in 2009, 13 percent of drivers polled indicated that they surfed while behind the wheel; but today, 26 percent said that they were on the Internet while driving. 

A number of people polled indicated that they accessed email accounts while driving, and others said that checking social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter were important. State Farm’s director of technology research explained to USA Today that he did not understand why people would continue to engage in such risky behavior, but it may be the popularity of smartphones that may be a contributor to this trend.

Smartphones allow users to access emails, and social media applications with just a touch of a button. Also, the cultural trend of staying on top of Facebook updates and Twitter posts may contribute to the increase in Internet use. Nevertheless, the responsibility of drivers to use reasonable care has not changed over the years. If a driver fails to use such care and an accident occurs, the driver could be held liable for the accident.

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