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Cell phone use dramatically increases risk of car accident

On an everyday basis, you've probably seen individuals driving while distracted. Whether texting and driving, eating, searching for something in a glove box, or talking to a backseat passenger, many motorists engage in activities that take their attention from the task at hand: driving.

A new study has shown just how dangerous distracted driving can be not just for a distracted driver, but for those around them, too. According to Cambridge Mobile Telematics, data collected from hundreds of thousands of smartphones showed that cell phone usage by drivers increased their accident risk by 300 percent. The study also found that more than half of all accidents involved a driver who was using a cell phone. On average, these motorists were using their phones for approximately two minutes prior to the wreck.

One reason cell phone usage causes so many accidents is because taking one's eyes off the road for mere seconds can cause a great distance to pass without attention. In fact, when traveling at 65 miles per hour, 100 yards passes every four seconds. So, looking down to send a simple text could leave a motorist driving blind for the length of a football field or more.

Sadly, laws banning cell phone usage while driving are not having much of an impact. These laws are hard to enforce, and the penalties are so minimal that many don't pay them much attention. This is one reason why those who are hurt in car accidents caused by a negligent driver may want to consider legal action. By filing a claim, a victim may be able to help shine light on this issue and deter similar negligent acts from occurring in the future. Additionally, a successful claim could result in the recovery of compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Source: CBS New York, "Study: Distracted Driving Triples Crash Risk," April 5, 2017

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