Thirty-nine states, including Nebraska, have passed legislation banning people from text messaging while driving. Despite potential criminal penalties, many people continue to text and drive.

A recent survey by AT&T shows that while most adults know that texting and driving is dangerous, about half of them continue to do it.

Teenagers are also guilty of texting and driving. About 43 percent admit they engage in the dangerous habit.

When people send or receive a text message, they often have their eyes off the road for close to five seconds, according to researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Sadly, a car accident can happen in less than five seconds, leaving people with serious injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 1,000 people are injured as a result of distracted driving on a daily basis. More than nine people are killed.

No one should have to suffer debilitating injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence. Nebraska residents can pursue legal action after they have been injured by a reckless driver. Compensation that is awarded may be used to pay medical bills and to make up for lost wages.

Although there may be legal ramifications for negligent drivers, nothing can be done to change the past. Car accident victims may be left with permanent injuries. In addition, they may suffer emotional and mental trauma after a serious accident.

Drivers in Nebraska need to remember how much damage a car accident can do. People should always keep in mind that no text message is worth putting themselves or others at risk.

Source: USA Today, “Texting in traffic: Adults worse than teens,” Larry Copeland, March 28, 2013