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When people think of causes of car crashes, they may think of an impaired or inexperienced driver. Though those are potential causes, another factor that some may not think of is distracted driving. This refers to drivers who stop looking at the road or remove their hands from the steering wheel for any reason, though typically it is due to cell phone usage. These behaviors can lead to a crash that causes injury or even fatality. Connecticut motorists may find it helpful to know more about distracted driving and how it relates to car accidents, should they ever be in a collision with someone who was distracted behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that thousands of people die and around 500,000 are injured every year in accidents that are due to distracted driving. Many people take this type of risk because they do not believe that a car crash could happen to them. Some are unaware of the dangers, and others use electronic devices in the car because of their busy lifestyle. Though young people are frequently involved in these types of accidents, they can happen to anyone.

Many people think that a quick glance at a phone will not do any harm. However, the NHTSA reminds drivers that looking at a phone for even five seconds when a car is traveling 55 mph means that a driver will move the length of a football filed without seeing the road. Even hands-free devices are not always a fool-proof way to avoid a crash, as they can present distractions. 

In Connecticut, it is illegal to text or use a handheld cell phone while driving. Those who have been injured or lost a loved one due to a distracted driving car crash may decide to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the party believed to have been responsible. Car accidents like these should never have to happen, but when they do, families do have a way to seek justice.

Source: distraction.gov, “Distracted Driving Frequently Asked Questions“, , Sept. 15, 2014

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