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Prevalence of a car accident due to distraction a growing worry

Driving in New York can be treacherous in any circumstance, but it is even more dangerous when there are drivers who are not paying complete attention to the road. These drivers will frequently use smartphones or indulge in other distractive behaviors and put others at risk. When there is a motor vehicle accident due to a distracted driver, there can be catastrophic injury, a brain injury, a spinal cord injury, and a fatality. Understanding the prevalence of distracted driving can help to avoid a crash, but it cannot prevent it all the time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that as recently as 2014, there were nearly 3,200 people killed in the U.S. because of distracted drivers. 431,000 suffered injuries due to this issue. While many might not realize what constitutes distracted driving and believe they can multitask, not maintaining complete attention on the road is considered distracted driving regardless of the distraction. Smartphones and other devices have increased these accidents, but there are many different ways to be distracted from talking to a passenger to changing the radio station.

The brain is not capable of performing an endless number of tasks at the same time even if people believe that it can. Simply listening to another person speaking to a driver in a vehicle can lower the amount of attention that is paid to the road by 37 percent. Talking and texting on a smartphone is worse whether the person is using a hands-free device or not. According to the National Safety Council, drivers who try to glance at their phones while maintaining some semblance of attention on the road miss around half of the information they would otherwise glean were they paying full attention. Teens are particularly vulnerable to the temptation. Combining their inexperience and inherent recklessness, this can lead to significant danger.

In 2015, the number of traffic deaths rose by 7.2 percent from the previous year. In the first half of 2016, they were up by more than 10 percent. With these numbers and anecdotal evidence, it is no surprise that distracted driving is considered a major factor in these incidents. Those who are in a crash need to be aware of how and why it might have happened. There can be hefty bills and other costs that accompany a car accident. Having an understanding and evidence into the accident can be the key in a successful legal filing for compensation. A legal professional can assist with the investigation and moving forward with a case.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "Driving Safely Is on You," Jonathan Fielding, Dec. 22, 2016

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