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The dangers of distractions such as texting and driving

For drivers in Brevard, there are numerous risks on the road to be concerned with. Whether it's a driver failing to obey traffic signals, someone getting behind the wheel after drinking, or common circumstances like the weather, there are many reasons for a car accident to occur. One example of possible driver negligence that is becoming more prevalent with the increased use of smartphones is texting and driving.

The dangers inherent with being a distracted driver are bolstered by statistics. It's something all drivers need to be aware of.

The numbers involved with people being hurt or killed in an incident with a distracted driver are startling. Every day, nine people die and more than 1,150 people are hurt because of it. It doesn't just have to be texting and driving to be distracted. Other activities such as eating, playing with the radio or just not paying attention to the road can be classified as being distracted. Taking one's eyes off the road, removing one's hands from the wheel, or not thinking about driving are all examples of distraction.

Over 3,300 people died in accidents because of a distracted driver in 2012 alone. The numbers were similar for 2011. More than 420,000 people were hurt in these kinds of crashes in 2012. That's an increase from 387,000 in 2011.

The number of people who are using smartphones as a means of communication is contributing to the problem. In the United States, 69 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 64 admitted to speaking on their cell phone will operating a motor vehicle within 30 days from being asked. 31 percent in the same age group stated that they read or sent text messages or used email as they drove within that same time frame.

States are trying to tamp down on this behavior by enacting laws along with penalties to dissuade drivers from doing it. The dangers, however, are still inherent with the activity. When there is a crash and there is serious injury or fatality as a result, it's imperative to know how to move forward in being compensated. Discussing the case with a lawyer with experience in distracted driver cases is the wise first step.

Source: CDC.gov, "Distracted Driving," accessed on Nov. 10, 2014

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