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Texting while driving causes injuries, high auto insurance and now, legal trouble

Posted On Wed, September 2, 2009

People who cause accidents because of texting while driving can expect dramatically higher auto insurance costs and could end up badly hurt. However, a new Utah law could result in some serious legal trouble for them as well.

A recent New York Times report focused on a new law approved in Utah that basically treats texting while driving the same as drunk driving. The measure was reportedly initiated after a fatal accident in the state that left two scientists dead.

According to the times, a person who causes a fatal accident while texting can now face up to 15 years in prison, the same sentence that drunk drivers who cause such crashes can face.

"It's a willful act. If you choose to drink and drive or if you choose to text and drive, you're assuming the same risk," state senator Lyle Hillyard was quoted as saying in the article.

Other states are considering their own measures against texting while driving, although none have cracked down on the practice to the extent that Utah has. Still, given how unsafe texting while driving can be and the effect it can have on auto insurance rates, this law may well be a sign of things to come in other states.

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