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Distracted driving continues to be a problem with new devices


Every driver, bicyclist and pedestrian in Massachusetts will undoubtedly have a story of encountering a distracted driver. The issue has become so prevalent that municipalities are seeking laws and new methods to put a stop to the practice. Similarly, companies that manufacture smartphones and other devices are trying to formulate ways to make it safer for use. Regardless, studies indicate that the dangers of distracted driving are real and can lead to a car collision with injuries and fatalities.

A report issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that people who are driving and using cellphones at the same time to text or surf the web face a likelihood of a crash that is two to eight times more frequent than those who are not using their phones for those purposes. People who are talking on their phones while driving are as much as four times as likely to be in a car accident. This information is an update to research that was done in the past. Some of the information is up to a decade old.

AAA sought to study the dangers of smartphone use when driving and consider how the changes from simpler phones to more technologically advanced phones has impacted safety. AAA says that drivers who are removing their eyes from the road for any reason are distracted. They are advised to use their smartphones only when it is an emergency or an urgent issue that affects driving.

Drivers also know the dangers they are stoking when using their phones while driving as more than two of every three admit that it is unacceptable behavior to talk on the phone while driving while one in three admit to doing it on a regularly or "fairly often." A sample of 3,500 drivers had their phone use monitored to determine the frequency of use while driving to come to AAA's conclusions. This is problematic as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that there were approximately 3,450 fatalities in 2016 due to distracted driving.

Because a car collision can result in injuries, medical expenses, lost time at work and death, those who were in a crash should be aware of the possibility that it was due to texting and driving or other distracted driving behaviors and act accordingly with a full accident investigation. Legal assistance is necessary to take all the appropriate steps to consider a lawsuit after a car accident and is the first call that the injured person and the family should make.

Source: capecodtoday.com, "AAA Report: Crash Risk Remains High When Using Modern Smart Phones," Jan. 10, 2018

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