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The relation between distraction and motor vehicle accidents

West Virginia drivers know that distracted drivers often display some of the same behaviors as drunk drivers. As the popularity of cellphones has grown over the last decade, so has concern regarding the consequences of distracted driving. While texting and driving is a relatively common reason for motor vehicle accidents, it is not the only risky behavior common behind the wheel.

It will be no surprise to West Virginia readers to learn that drivers who frequently use phones while driving are at a higher risk for crashes or near crashes. Studies reveal that there are many other types of behavior that can contribute to distracted driving, including eating, talking to passengers and smoking. Studies have also shown that texting continues to be a problem, even as other forms of cellphone use while driving has decreased. 

Talking on the phone or texting can slow a driver's reaction time, increasing the chance of a crash and endangering passengers. In fact, simply talking to a passenger in the car can qualify as distracted driving. It is important to remember that a driver can cause significant damage and injury because of distraction, even if he or she is not actually using a cellphone or texting at the time. 

When a driver harms another person because of needless, negligent actions, he or she can be held accountable. Those injured in motor vehicle accidents have certain rights, including the right to seek compensation for pain and suffering. It may be wise to ensure that these rights are protected by seeking the help of a legal professional.

Source: iihs.org, "Searching for answers on distraction", Accessed on May 25, 2015

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