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By Ilyse Gordon and Friends
Carz4Girlz Editors

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Here we go again-getting targeted for something we know we didn't do. Only this time there's proof we did it.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety came out with a study recently that concluded state bans or restrictions on were not reducing teen driver's hand-held cell phone usage.

The non-profit organization conducted a study in a North Carolina high school parking lot soon after the state enacted a cell phone ban for young drivers. They found that 12% of teenagers were using their cell phones when they drove off the grounds. Most were using hand-held devices, most were driving SUVs, and most of them were girls (sigh). Does this sound like you?

Teenagers are involved in three times more fatal crashes than other drivers. Many reasons lead to this: driving inexperience, hurry to get home before curfew, too many distractions in the car, cell phone usage-we'd better it get on it before danger gets on us.

Know your state's cell phone laws.
A ban on driving while talking on a hand-held cellular phone is in place in 6 states (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Utah, and Washington) and the District of Columbia. However, keep in mind many other states and cities have a complete ban on using any cell phone hands-free device at all, including texting. Also, Utah has named the offense careless driving, which can result in a point on your driving record.

Get a hands-free cell phone device.
They are easy to use and do not cost nearly as much as a new phone (between $25-55). You can pick one up at Target or any phone store.

Get a car that provides hands-free Bluetooth phone technology.
With a simple push of a button on your steering wheel, you can make a call using dial voice recognition. You can find the vehicle you need here on The Auto Channel.

Carry a passenger.
The study also concluded that solo drivers were more likely than those with passengers to break the cell phone law. Pick your friend up and talk to her while driving! You were probably calling her to see if she could hang out in the first place!

Realize multi-tasking isn't all that efficient or effective.
If you don't believe me, then take an expert's advice- get The Myth of Multitasking by David Crenshaw in an audio book form and stick it in your car CD player (oops, I just told you to do two things at once!)

Before you make a call while driving, think - or calculate - how expensive this call might end up being to your overall vehicle costs. At the least, can you afford a hundred-plus ticket, the possibility your parents might kick you off their insurance, and get points on your driving record? Or the worst - a crash because you were not paying attention to what you were supposed to be doing...DRIVING!

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