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Distracted driving and the increased risk of personal injury

West Virginia drivers have the right to arrive at their destination safely and have legal grounds to pursue compensation when another driver causes them or a loved one harm. As readers know, distracted driving is one the greatest threats to this right of personal safety, and as a result, April has been named Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The risk of personal injury and even death is significantly higher when a driver is distracted.

Distracted driving is a term used to describe any activity that takes the attention of the driver off of the task at hand. There are three main forms: visual distraction, cognitive distraction and using a cell phone while driving. Texting on cell phones continues to be the main source of temptation for drivers, but cell phone distractions can also include phone calls, social media use and using GPS navigation. Cognitive distraction is a lack of focus and attention, and visual distraction is anything that grabs a driver's attention, such as flashing lights or billboards.

No matter the cause, distracted driving is unacceptable and inexcusable. Like drunk drivers, distracted drivers cause unnecessary harm because they incorrectly believe that they are capable of driving safely at the time. These drivers can be held to account for the physical, financial and emotional harm that they cause.

A personal injury claim cannot undo the damage that has been done by a distracted driver, but it is a reasonable way by which a person can seek recovery. Medical bills and other damages often follow a car accident, but these burdens do not have to be carried alone. West Virginia victims would be wise to seek a legal opinion regarding available legal options as soon as possible after an accident.

Source: tucsonnewsnow.com, "Stay safe during 'Distracted Driving Awareness Month'", Sasha Loftis, April 4, 2016

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