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Distracted drivers increase the risk for accidents

People in South Carolina may know that driving while distracted could raise one's risk of getting into an auto accident. According to statistics, more than 1,100 are injured and at least nine people die each day in the U.S. because of accidents involving inattentive drivers. Distracted driving has also been linked to reckless behaviors in teens, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC survey asked high school students age 16 and over about driving while texting and drinking. The results showed that teens who texted while driving were twice as likely to get into a vehicle driven by a drunk person and five times as likely to drive drunk. Drivers under the age of 20 get into the most accidents in which distraction played a role. Moreover, texting might be more hazardous than other types of distractions because it can divert drivers' attentions for more time and more often.

Distractions can come in three types: manual, cognitive and visual. Manual distractions mean something that causes drivers to take their hands off the wheel. Cognitive distractions are when drivers' minds are on something besides driving. A visual distraction means something that takes drivers' eyes off the road. To combat all distractions, some states have implemented laws that ban texting and other potentially distracting activities while driving. Data on whether these laws actually decrease the risk is not yet available.

Auto accidents could lead to significant life changes and expenses. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage and long-term effects on health are just some of the issues victims involved in a distraction-related accident might face. An attorney could assist victims by gathering information, performing an accident investigation and calculating a victim's losses and expenses. An attorney may also speak with insurance companies to get a fair settlement.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", December 28, 2014

Philpot Law Firm, PA
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Greenville, SC 29601

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