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North Carolina looks to cut car insurance claims with texting ban

North Carolina today joined 13 other states and Washington, DC in banning cell phone texting while driving, which safety advocates hope will reduce accidents and the number of car insurance claims in the state.

Insurance experts said distracted drivers are more likely to cause an accident, leading to an increase in car insurance claims and higher premiums. A recent study found that drivers who were distracted by a cell phone conversation fared poorly in simulated driving.

In the first six months of 2009, seven states have passed texting-while-driving bans, doubling the number of states that have instituted bans on the practice.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, state legislatures have heard more than 200 proposed distracted driving regulations this session.

State lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering several proposals to ban the use of cell phones by some drivers, after a trolley driver on the Boston subway system crashed into another trolley while sending text messages, resulting in dozens of injuries.

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