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How many teen car accidents are cell phone related?

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January 25, 2009 1:20AM

The simple answer is, TO MANY! While I do not know the exact number of accidents, teen drivers or otherwise, that are connected to cell phone use, I can tell you the states that do currently have bans on handheld devices while driving and other related information. Handheld Cell Phone Bans: 5 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Washington), the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands have laws prohibiting driving while talking on handheld cell phones. With the exception of Washington State, these laws are all primary enforcement—an officer may ticket a driver for using a handheld cell phone while driving without any other traffic offense taking place. All Cell Phone Bans: No state completely bans all types of cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for all drivers, but many prohibit cell phone use by certain segments of the population. Novice Drivers: 17 states and the District of Columbia ban all cell use by novice drivers. School Bus Drivers: In 17 states and the District of Columbia, school bus drivers are prohibited from all cell phone use when passengers are present. Text Messaging: 7 states (Alaska, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington) and the District of Columbia have a text messaging ban for all drivers. Novice Drivers: 9 states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers. School Bus Drivers: 6 states legally restrict school bus drivers from texting while driving. Preemption Laws: 8 states have laws that prohibit local jurisdictions from enacting restrictions. In 6 other states, localities are allowed to ban cell phone use. Some states, such as Utah and New Hampshire, treat cell phone use as a larger distracted driving issue. Utah considers speaking on a cellphone to be an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding). This information came from the Governors Highway Safety Association website URL: http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html. This site also has other information regarding state cell phone bans and links to other sources that may better answer this question if an exact number is need for cell phone related accidents. If your state does not currently have some sort of ban on cell phone use while driving and this is an issue that concerns you, I would suggest that you contact your states representatives and inquire about this growing problem.