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Dangerous distracted driving behaviors continue to grow

This blog recently discussed the serious nature of distracted driving and texting and driving. Unfortunately, the problem of distracted driving has gained attention on highways across the United States and the majority of states have banned texting while driving. Additional activities conducted on cell phones, however, are also leading to an increase in distracted driving. Drivers playing a popular video game have reportedly recently caused several car accidents.

A variety of apps and social networking activities on cell phones are also reportedly leading to distracted driving-related car accidents. A majority of teenagers report using apps while driving and the majority do not seem to view using social media while driving as a significant distraction concern. In addition, texting while driving is increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reading one text is equivalent to removing the driver's eyes from the roadway for the length of a football field. Another study finds that a single text increases the chance of a crash by 6 times.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8 victims are killed and 1,000 are injured in distracted driving-relating car accidents each day, though experts say the figures are likely under-reported. The National Safety Council provides estimates that one-fourth of car accidents are caused by distracted driving related to the use of a cell phone. Distracted driving behaviors include cell phone use, texting while driving and eating while driving, among others. While texting while driving is a significant concern, distracted driving includes a number of behaviors that may negligently cause a car accident.

Victims of distracted driving-related car accidents and their families may unexpectedly suffer significant physical, financial and emotional harm as a result of the careless actions of another driver. Distracted drivers may be responsible to compensate victims for those damages which is why victims and their families should be familiar with how to access the legal options available to them when harmed.

Source: CNN, "Driving While Distracted: It's not just texting anymore," Kelly Wallace, Aug. 1, 2016

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