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Report: Distracted driving crashes kill 9 every day

It will likely come as no surprise to most of our blog readers that distracted driving has become a huge problem in New York and every other U.S. state. Now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report which demonstrates just how harmful distraction can be.

According to the CDC report, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day in car accidents in which distraction is identified as a cause. And that doesn’t take into account the crashes in which distraction is merely suspected. If it did, the number of fatalities and injuries would likely increase significantly.

The report also lists some of the primary causes of distraction behind the wheel. Many involve technology, such as texting, talking on a cell phone and using GPS systems. Others were more common, such as eating. However, the CDC reinforced the riskiness of texting, stating that it is “especially dangerous because it combines all three kinds of distraction.”

Distracted driving behaviors such as talking and texting on cell phones behind the wheel are now against the law in many states. That is the case in New York, where, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, motorists are prohibited from using hand-held cell phones, texting or emailing while driving.

But even drivers who are not criminally charged may be named in civil personal injury lawsuits for the harm they cause by talking or texting behind the wheel. A New York car accident attorney can help potential litigants determine whether such a lawsuit is the best option.

Source: Washington Post, “Distracted driving: 9 die, 1,060 hurt each day, CDC says,” Ashley Halsey III, February 24, 2014

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