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Cell phone internet use causes fatality in Connecticut

Distracted driving has been increasingly at issue on Connecticut streets. The ever present smart phone, while providing a shocking amount of conveniences including instant directions and detailed information about our destinations, is a huge contributor to driver negligence on the road.

In March, the distraction of a smart phone took a man's life. A vehicle drove up onto the shoulder of a road and struck a Norwalk man. The accident left the man with a substantial spinal cord injury and trauma to the head. The man eventually died from his injuries.

Recently, the driver of the vehicle came forward, admitting to hitting the man. The driver is a New Canaan resident and 16 years old. She states she was looking up the New Canaan High School website on her phone at the time of the incident. While she was searching for the site, her car veered onto the shoulder and struck the man, who was jogging at the time.

Many states have begun to address the problems cell phones bring to the road. States have banned texting while driving and even talking on the phone while driving. However, most state laws have not kept up with cell phone technology and fails to prohibit other common phone uses while driving, namely internet use.

Connecticut prohibits its drivers from texting or talking on handheld cell phones while driving, and completely prohibits texting or talking for novice drivers -- those under eighteen years of age. In fact, the state issued some 30,000 tickets for cell phone use in 2009. However, internet use is not explicitly prohibited.

Distracted driving is a dangerous endeavor. While cell phones bring a plethora of conveniences to navigation and general access to information, internet use while driving is unsafe and can cause fatalities and severe consequences for all parties involved.

Source: Connecticut Post, "New Canaan driver on web when she hit jogger, police," John Nickerson," May 15, 2012

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