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The danger of distracted driving

As New York residents may know, distracted driving on the roadway is responsible for a large number of accidents due to texting, messaging and talking on a cellphone. Although laws are in place in a number of states prohibiting the practice, some individuals continue.

Young drivers may be more at risk of an auto accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Inexperience behind the wheel and age may be contributing factors, especially in those under 20. In fact, the NHTSA reports that drivers in their 20s are involved in 27 percent of all accidents involving the use of a cellphone. A study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reported that the use of portable devices, such as cellphones, increased accident risk 300 percent.

While cellphone use contributes to the cause of motor vehicle accidents, other types of distraction can also cause wrecks. An individual who takes his or her eyes from the road to access navigation devices, adjust a radio or watch a video is at higher risk. Drinking, eating and talking to other passengers while driving causes distractions. According to the VTTI, looking away for five seconds may result in an accident. In that amount of time and traveling at a speed limit of 55 mph, a vehicle travels 360 feet, the length of an average football field.

An individual injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver may suffer financial loss due to medical bills, recuperation time and lost wages. To recover the expenses caused by a negligent driver, an individual in this situation may wish to consult with an attorney. An attorney may review accident and police reports and file a lawsuit on the injured individual's behalf to recover damages to cover those expenses.

Source: Distraction.gov, "What is distracted driving?" Accessed on Feb. 12, 2015

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