Lower auto insurance bills by keeping teens from texting while driving

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Teens are already expensive to insure, and parents should draw the line on texting behind the wheel to keep insurance costs from being even higher

Texting while driving raises the risk of incurring a serious accident, a new study reveals, and people concerned about their auto insurance costs should refrain from texting behind the wheel.

The University of Utah study found that texting while driving increases by a factor of six the rate of getting in an accident. Researchers put 40 young adult drivers behind the wheel of a driving simulator and had them drive 32 "miles." The young people drove in both single- and dual-task modes; the dual-task scenario had them text while driving.

Seven of the participants got in an accident; six of these - or 86 percent - occurred among dual-task drivers. The risk of getting in an accident was higher, too, the study's authors said: "text messaging impairs both forward and lateral vehicle control," they wrote.

In light of these and other findings, more states are likely to ban drivers from texting in 2010. Nineteen states already ban texting behind the wheel.

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Posted: January 11, 2010

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