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Study shows growing danger of encountering a distracted driver

Maryland residents might be casually aware of the dangers inherent in encountering a distracted driver. The reality is that drivers who are not paying strict attention to the road are an even bigger risk than was previously known. As motorists have an increasing number of ways to multitask with a smartphone or other device, the number of people who are a car accident victim because of texting and driving, checking emails, or doing any number of other things with a device is increasing.

A new study from Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) says that distracted driving was a factor in 52 percent of all accidents. In the study, hundreds of thousands of phones were analyzed after there was a car crash. It showed that the amount of time that people were distracted prior to an accident was an average of two minutes and 15 seconds, during times when their vehicles were traveling at speeds that surpassed 56 miles-per-hour. The most frequent ways in which people were distracted by their phones were texting, using social media, and checking email.

A chief technology officer at CMT says that distracted driving is a major safety issue. Since April has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the problem is a topic of greater focus with prevention coming to the forefront. This research is simultaneous to rises in road and pedestrian fatalities. Part of the increase in deaths is attributed to a greater number of people driving due to a lower cost of gas. However, distracted driving is a known factor in these crashes. If a motorist is using a smartphone while driving, the risk of being in a crash more than triples. Drivers who are speeding are three times as likely to be in an accident. People who stop abruptly are 1.8 times as likely to be in an accident.

People who are injured or lose a loved one in a car crash will have a lot on their plate as they recover or try to get beyond the shock of an unexpected death. Yet, relief and accountability can be found. If an injurious or fatal accident was caused by a distracted driver, then a personal injury lawsuit may be justified. Thus, discussing the matter with an attorney who is experienced in investigating and pursuing a case due to car accidents is essential.

Source: The Hill, "Distracted driving factor in majority of crashes," Melanie Zanona, April 3, 2017

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