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Causes and consequences associated with distracted driving

To avoid causing unnecessary and preventable car accidents, it is incumbent upon all drivers to use appropriate judgment and focus while operating their vehicles. A failure to do so may evidence negligence on a driver's behalf and expose that person to significant liability for any injuries that are caused as a result.

Distracted driving occurs when a person is operating a motor vehicle while also doing another activity that diverts the driver's full attention from driving. Activities that are commonly associated with distracted driving are texting, talking on a phone, eating or using a navigation system. Essentially, there are three forms of distracted driving: visual, cognitive and manual. Visual distractions divert a driver's vision from the road, cognitive distractions put a driver's thoughts elsewhere and manual distractions cause a driver to not physically operate their vehicle in the intended manner.

The statistics regarding crashes involving some form of distracted driving are concerning, as are the number of drivers who engage in activities that divert their attention while behind the wheel. The risk factors associated with distracted driving are even greater for younger drivers, who are more likely to engage in some behavior that causes them to not focus on driving the way they should.

As a result, many states have enacted laws prohibiting texting while driving, as well as using any form of electronic devices while behind the wheel. Anyone that has been injured as a result of a car accident with a distracted driver may be entitled to compensation as a result of that driver's negligent behavior.

Source: CDC.gov, "Distracted Driving," Accessed May 18, 2015

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