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Social media and Pokemon Go emerge as distraction dangers

Distracted driving is a big problem in New York and throughout the country. While most people think of texting and driving when they think about distracted driving, other activities people engage in while driving are equally as problematic.

The easy availability of smartphones and the Internet has resulted in drivers doing such things as checking Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Maps while they are driving. With the advent of the Pokémon Go game, news stories around the country are starting to appear about drivers having accidents while playing the game. In Baltimore, Maryland, a man who was playing Pokémon Go rammed into a parked police vehicle. In another case in Napa, California, a girl is believed to have been playing the game when she ran off of the road and slammed into a pole.

Two recent studies underscore the extent of the issue. Liberty Mutual Insurance surveyed 2,500 high school-aged drivers and learned that almost 70 percent admitted to using social media apps while operating a vehicle. The National Safety Council conducted the second study, and its survey of 2,400 drivers of all ages revealed that 74 percent of drivers of all ages admitted to checking their Facebook pages while driving.

Distracted driving is often the cause of serious injury and fatal car accidents. When a person is injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the injured victim may file a civil lawsuit against the driver for his or her negligence. When a person is killed, his or her family may file a lawsuit against the driver. By doing so, injured plaintiffs and the families of those who are killed may hold the negligent drivers accountable.

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