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Teenagers talk about cellphone use like an addiction

Cellphone use behind the wheel is incredibly dangerous, and we're at the point now where most people have at least heard of the danger. They know it's a risk. They know that it causes accidents and takes lives. There are few people out there texting and driving who would be shocked to learn that it's risky.

However, they keep taking that same risk, over and over. They know the stakes, but it's easy to think that those accidents are events involving other people. They assume they can text safely and they are willing to gamble with their lives -- and others' -- to find out.

This is a risk for adults and teens, but young people do end up in a large percentage of these accidents. They're more connected to their technology and find it harder to set it aside. They're also prone to risk-taking activities that older adults, with more experience, may avoid.

However, the real problem may simply be addiction. When you hear them talk about it, they sound very much like people who struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Checking every notification

For instance, they find it impossible to ignore a notification. They may only be driving for 15 more minutes, but they can't wait until they stop the car to check the phone. If they hear that signal, they respond to it right away -- even in traffic.

"Once your phone alerts, it's like a sudden rush of anxiety to check it," said one 17-year-old girl.

This also helps to show that teens may get distracted simply by hearing the notification, even if they do not check the phone. They start thinking about it. Their bodies respond instinctively. That may be all that it takes to take their minds off of the road.

Like a drug

Once again, teenagers know the dangers. They know they should stop. But just like someone who keeps smoking even though they know all about the dangers of lung cancer, they can't stop.

"It's like a drug, it's very hard to stop doing it," a 16-year-old boy noted.

Many of the features on smartphones do create addiction. Plus, people create it themselves when they're immersed in it all the time. For teen drivers in 2019, they have grown up with cellphones. They're used to having a connection to their friends at all times. It's difficult for them to put that addiction aside, even when they know it leads to accidents.

Your rights

Have you gotten injured in an accident with a distracted driver in Florida? If you're now facing high medical bills, lost wages and other costs, you must know your legal rights to compensation.

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