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State texting bans would attempt to reduce car accidents, auto insurance claims

Lawmakers in both Kansas and Alabama are considering bans on texting while driving, a practice that has been shown to increase accident risk significantly and lead to higher auto insurance rates

Kansas and Alabama are likely to ban texting while driving in 2010, reports say.

Last month, Kansas lawmakers indicated their desire to make texting while driving illegal. The Ways and Means Committee in the state Senate is drafting a proposal that will be introduced in the next legislative session, which will begin on the 11th of January.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, committee chairman Jay Emler called texting behind the wheel “just wrong.”

Alabama officials are hoping that a texting ban will make it through their legislature in 2010, too. A texting ban passed in the state House last year but stalled in a Senate committee on concerns that people would be unable to respond to emergency texts.

Those who text while driving “put everybody at risk,” said state Representative Jim McClendon to the Associated Press.

Texting is a dangerous activity for drivers: a study in the December issue of Human Factors found that it was far more distracting than talking on a phone or to a passenger.

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Posted: January 7, 2010

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