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Daydreaming can be dangerous behind the wheel

Many people in New Jersey are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, especially as legislation, public awareness campaigns and police activity have targeted cell phone use and texting while driving. Distracted driving comes in all forms, from eating while behind the wheel to tuning the radio. However, the most common and dangerous form of distracted driving involves no technology at all and may be the most difficult to combat: daydreaming while behind the wheel.

Anything that keeps a driver's attention away from the road and the flow of traffic can lead to dangerous car accidents, especially on highways and other roads where cars travel at a high rate of speed and braking ahead can cause swift changes in the flow of traffic. This means that letting one's mind wander into fantasy or thinking about the day to come on the job can be particularly dangerous while driving.

A major insurance company reviewed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which tracks police information about motor vehicle accidents across the country. They noted that in the past five years, traffic accidents had killed 172,000 people in the United States. When examining the cause of the crashes, one in 10 were ascribed to distracted driving. However, only 14 percent of those crashes were attributed to a driver distracted by their cell phone use. Instead, a full 61 percent of fatal crashes involving distracted driving were caused by a driver whose mind was wandering behind the wheel.

Distracted driving can be extremely dangerous, whatever the cause. Car crashes caused by distracted or otherwise negligent drivers can lead to brain injuries, lifelong disabilities and even deaths. People who have been injured in a crash through no fault of their own might benefit from working with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer may be able to help them pursue compensation for the harms they have suffered, including lost wages and medical bills.

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