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Texting while driving linked to auto wrecks

Karns & Kerrison

For Rhode Island residents, leaving home without their cellphones can be very inconvenient. However, by using a mobile device while driving, motorists might encounter troubles that are more serious. According to a recent report by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, drivers who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash as compared with drivers who are not distracted.

Based on statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2010, distracted drivers caused 3,092 deaths and left 416,000 individuals injured, which accounts for 18 percent of all fatal or injury accidents that occurred that year. Other reports indicate that texting while driving is a common activity that takes place among young adults between the ages of 18 and 20 as well as teenagers.

Parents can help to decrease the chances of their teens being involved in car wrecks by instructing them to not use their cellphones while driving and by explaining the dangers of doing so. Likewise, by pulling off the road to use their own cellphones, parents can teach their children that distracted driving is not permissible for anyone.

To address the issue of distracted driving, the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies provide information and advice via various websites to help people understand the potential risks involved with distracting driving. Furthermore, some states passed laws that ban the use of handheld mobile devices and texting while driving.

Those who have been injured in car accidents that were caused by distracted drivers may consider seeking financial compensation for their accident-related losses through personal injury claims. Attorneys who practice in this area could possibly assist such individuals in substantiating their claims of driver negligence using evidence such as police and witness reports.

Source: fcc.gov, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", September 12, 2014

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