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Teenager's texting-while-driving conviction serves as warning

It is well-known by now that distracted driving can be deadly. In days gone by, distractions were relatively few: changing the radio, lighting a cigarette or a noisy passenger might lead a driver to lose focus for a moment. Nobody a few decades ago could have contemplated that a driver might be talking on the phone or, even more dangerous, sending or receiving a text message.

The advent of widely available cell phones, however, has led to countless car accidents as drivers attempt to answer calls or send messages when they should be driving. Now a teenager has been convicted in one of the first cases of criminal texting while driving. The teen's actions led to the death of a 55-year-old man in a car crash.

The teen driver had sent and received messages in the minutes before the crash. His vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and his car crashed head-on into a truck, killing its driver. The teenager was not seriously hurt in the incident.

According to prosecutors in the case, the teen sent and/or received nearly 200 messages on the day of the fatal accident. He had testified that he was distracted by the amount of homework he had to do, not by his phone, but this was proven otherwise in court.

The teenager now faces up to four years in state prison when he is sentenced. Unfortunately for the family of the truck driver, their loved one will not return to them. The families of people who have been injured or killed in car accidents often consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise them on steps to recover compensation for their losses.

Source: Good Morning America, "Massachusetts Teen Aaron Deveau Found Guilty in Landmark Texting While Driving Case," Linsey Davis, June 6, 2012

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