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Ways to address distracted driving in Massachusetts

Today, technology is a way to unite and connect people of all ages from all over the globe. While innovative gadgets makes life, work and staying in-touch with people across the world much easier, there is one place that these gadgets have an adverse effect - in an automobile. Distracted driving is a growing concern in Massachusetts and states across the nation, and with April being nation distracted driving awareness month, it is important that drivers not only understand the dangers distracted driving poses but also ways to remedy it.

According to a recent survey by the National Safety Council, 80 percent of American drivers believe that opting to use a hands-free device is much safer than using a handheld cellphone while they drive. While this does free up the driver's hand, this does not free up the driver's mind. Studies indicate that hands-free devices make drivers feel safer, but since the brain is still focused on a conversation, the driver still remains distracted. Therefore, any form of device causes a driver to take their mind off the primary task of driving.

Based on recent statistics, over 3,000 people were killed and over 424,000 were injured in traffic-related accidents in 2013 that involved a distracted driver. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, at any moment across America there are approximately 660,000 drivers using their cell phones or an electronic device while driving.

The best way to curb this danger is to avoid using these devices. Whether this means silencing them, turning them off or placing them in the trunk, the urge to use a phone while driving should be taken away from a driver. A driver not only has their own life to worry about, but also the life of their passengers and other motorists, bikers and pedestrians traveling near them. Distracted driving could easily be the cause of a serious collision, resulting in injuries, fatalities and damages.

Following an automobile crash, those involved should understand the cause. An investigation could determine whether distractions played a role. If this is the case, injured victims might have recourses against a negligent driver.

Source: Safety.blr.com, "Safe driving tips for Distracted Driving Awareness Month," Emily Scace, April 21, 2015

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