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AAA: cellphone use drives up crash risks

It's a common sight as you drive around Lake Charles: people talking on their cellphones while they're behind the wheel of their moving vehicle. Young, old and in-between do it, often unaware of the risks involved.

The American Automobile Association just released a new study that makes the risks clear: people who talk or text or access the internet on their phones while driving are 2 to 8 times more likely to be in a crash as drivers who aren't distracted by electronic devices.

If you're thinking that you're relatively safe because you only talk on your phone -- you don't text or surf -- here's more bad news from AAA: simply talking on your phone makes you up to 4 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash. It does not matter if you're on a hands-free device or if you're holding your phone in your hand; the risk is equal in both cases, the study says.

AAA says that Americans have mixed feelings on the subject of cellphone use while driving. Two-thirds of drivers surveyed disapprove of talking, texting and surfing behind the wheel, yet nearly a third of them admit that they do it regularly or fairly often.

About 4 out of 5 surveyed drivers say texting is a serious threat to safety and more than 90 percent say it's unacceptable that people type on their phones while driving.

According to the survey, about two-thirds of drivers say hands-free devices are better than handheld phone use, though the report makes it clear that hands-free technologies (including in-vehicle tech) are dangerous distractions.

Let's face it: though cellphones are an essential part of modern life, there are very real dangers associated with their use while driving. Those who ignore the data about the dangers of distracted driving sometimes cause traffic accidents, injuries and even fatalities.

Our law firm helps victims fight for justice and full compensation for damages, including doctor bills, hospitalization costs, lost wages and more. Contact The Johnson Firm for more information.

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