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Distracted driving is never acceptable behavior

Distracted driving doesn't have any place on the roads. Even when the weather is nice, a distracted driver can cause accidents that harm others. It is imperative that all drivers pay close attention to what's going on so they can make it to their destination on time and safely.

There are many ways that drivers might be distracted. These are all preventable, but around 9 people die and more than 1,000 people are injured daily in a crash attributed to a driver who is paying attention to something other than driving.

Causes of distraction

Distractions come in many forms, but each impacts the visual, cognitive or manual abilities of the driver. In some cases, more than one of these is present. Whether there is only one or multiple ways that the driver is affected, the results can be the same.

One of the most common distractions is cellphone usage. This is serious because it takes the form of all three types of distractions. The driver's eyes move from the road to the phone to read messages. They have to manipulate the phone with their hands, which takes at least one hand off the wheel. Finally, they must mentally process the message, picture or other information, which takes their mind off driving.

Some other distractions include looking at billboards, eating something, talking to other passengers, and manipulating the GPS device. No drivers should ever do anything that is going to take away their ability to react to hazards and obstacles while they are driving.

Main risk factor

Age is a primary risk factor for distracted driving. Young adults and teens are more likely to drive while they are distracted. The highest proportion of fatal crashes that are attributed to distracted driving belongs to drivers under the age of 20 years old.

Victims suffer greatly

Victims of distracted driving crashes can suffer grave injuries. This can mean extensive medical care, which results in bills. It can also lead to the inability to work during the healing process. Victims shouldn't be liable for the financial impact of the crash. Instead, they can opt to seek compensation for the damages and hold the driver who caused the crash liable. This is done through the civil court system and must be handled carefully.

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