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Understanding the dangers associated with distracted driving


It is clear to drivers in West Virginia that there are numerous risks they may encounter on the roadway. These risks can be anything from weather to traffic to negligent drivers. When a driver fails to uphold the standard duty of care while operating a motor vehicle, they could cause a collision. There is a growing concern for distracted driving, and the rate of accidents involving distracted drivers continues to affect more and more victims.

A recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that every day distracted drivers kill 9 and injure more than 1,060 people in the United States. This rate suggests that distracted driving is a serious danger that continues to impact those on the road.

There are three main types of distractions when it comes to distracted driving. The first is visual, which is when the driver's eyes are taken off the roadway. This is commonly caused by texting while driving. The second is manual. This occurs when the driver's hands are taken off of the wheel. If the driver is reaching for something in the passenger side or back seat, this could cause their hands to leave the wheel. Furthermore, eating or texting while driving would also cause a hand or both hands to leave the wheel.

Lastly, the third type of distraction is cognitive. This occurs when the driver's mind is taken off of the road. This could be the cause of a medical disorder but could also be caused by talking on the phone or having conversations with other passengers in the vehicle.

No matter what type of distraction, a distracted driver is a dangerous factor on the roadways and could be the cause of a serious accident. Those injured by a distracted driver may be able to prove that the driver was in fact distracted at the time of the accident. A successful lawsuit against a distracted driver may allow victims and their families to obtain compensation.

It does not matter where a driver is traveling or how long the drive is, drivers should be aware of their surroundings at all time. Avoiding distractions could significantly reduce the occurrence of automobile accidents. Understanding how to avoid the common distractions drivers face could help make the roads safer as well.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving," accessed on Sep. 9, 2014

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