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$4.1 Million verdict for woman hit by driver using BlackBerry

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A 71-year-old Illinois woman was recently awarded $4.1 Million for injuries suffered after a van driver ran a red light and crashed into her car. The driver of the van was on his way to a job for his employer and trying to navigate using his BlackBerry handheld device. When questioned later, the man could not even recall whether the light was red or green, but witnesses testified that the light was red when he went through the intersection.

Unfortunately, text message is becoming a more frequent cause of car accidents, especially among younger drivers. Many drivers take safety for granted when trying to quickly respond to an email or text they have just received. As more and more employers are handing texting devices to their employees, employees feel pressured to respond immediately whenever the boss calls.

Several states, including California, are instituting bans on the use of handheld cell phones while driving. Will it take a ban to make people stop using text messaging and email devices while driving?