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Distracted driving encompasses more than texting

Drivers are confronted with a dizzying array of devices, applications on top of the classic distractions like passengers, music and phone calls. As cars become more "connected" to the Internet, the number of these distractions is only going to increase. As a result, the CDC estimates that more than eight people are killed and another 1,161 are injured every day in the United States as a result of accidents involving distracted drivers.

Distracted driving includes more than calling and texting. A driver can have his or her focus pulled by high-tech items like GPS navigation systems and social media apps as well as by low-tech activities like adjusting the radio and chatting with car passengers.

According to the CDC, there are three types of distraction:

  • Cognitive distractions that take your focus away from the road.
  • Manual distractions that involve taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Visual distractions that take your eyes off the road.

Most people do not realize how fast they are actually moving in a car. In the time it takes to look at an average text, a car traveling at 55 mph will cover an amount of ground equal to the length of a football field, during which time any number of hazards could appear.

The federal and state governments have passed numerous laws to confront this health risk. States use a variety of techniques including outright bans and step-up licensing systems to educate teen drivers about the risks of distracted driving. Additionally, several Federal agencies have banned various commercial industries from using cellphones while driving. There is no national ban for private drivers and there is no consensus on what types of distracted driving should be banned or regulated.

If you were injured due to a distracted driver, then you may want to speak with an attorney. You could have an actionable claim to recover compensation for your medical bills and other expenses.

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