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Infographic: The Real Costs of Distracted Driving

Texting while driving is now illegal in more than 40 states across the country and the penalties for breaking the law are increasingly stiff.

It's now illegal to text and drive in more than 40 states across the country and the penalties for breaking the law are increasingly stiff. Although about a quarter of all auto collisions are believed to be linked to digital distraction, no nationwide standards exist for investigating accidents where authorities suspect a handheld device was involved.

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Might Ohio be leading the way?

When officers there arrive at the scene of a serious crash, they consider cell phones potential evidence and are trained to obtain the devices, either with the drivers consent or with a warrant. Once they get the device, technicians at a computer forensics lab can access information on the phone including emails, call logs, texts -- and even deleted activity.

Some say this is an invasion of privacy, but Ohio State Highway Patrol maintains it's a necessary step.

Catherine Kim and Michelle Melnick of NBC News contributed to this report.