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Distracted driving dangers

Drivers in New Jersey who have lost loved ones or who have been injured in a distraction-related car accident agree that distracted driving is a dangerous problem. There are statistics to back up this opinion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over nine people are killed in the U.S. each day as the result of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is defined as engaging in any activity while behind the wheel that takes focus and attention off the road. Many people know that texting while driving is a major distraction and a serious problem, but there are other ways to lose focus while driving. For example, using a hands-free electronic communication device has not been shown to be significantly safer than using a handheld device. Eating, applying makeup or even changing a radio station can pull a driver's eyes and attention off of the road on in front of them.

Young people are most often affected by distraction-related car accidents. According to studies, of all distraction-related crashes in the U.S., 16 percent involve people under the age of 20. Young people are more likely to engage in frequent use of handheld electronic devices and are less likely to understand the seriousness of driving while distracted.

Although many states have begun the process of enacting laws that ban the use of handheld devices while driving, it has yet to be seen whether these laws will have a significant impact on the number of distraction-related traffic accidents.

A car accident can cost thousands. An attorney may be able to use evidence from police accident investigations to file a civil claim against a distracted driver and negotiate a settlement.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", January 05, 2015

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