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Smartphone use and being a distracted driver go hand in hand

It is an unfortunate reality that there will be a significant number of drivers on the road who operate their vehicles while distracted by a smartphone or some other device. There is an inherent danger with this behavior and it is causing motor vehicle accidents. Research is examining this phenomenon and finding that it is far worse than initially thought. Louisiana residents who are in a car accident should be cognizant of this.

A study by Cambridge Mobile Telematics says that approximately one out of every four drivers in recent accidents was using a smartphone within one minute prior to the car accident. Its research discovered that there was distracted driving in one-third of every trip whether there was an accident or not. A significant distraction is classified as lasting for more than one minute and happened in one of every 10 trips. With the car trips and the so-called significant distraction, 29 percent happened while the vehicle was going more than 56 miles per hour. The issue with looking at a smartphone and trying to focus on the road again is that it takes time to become reoriented with driving safely.

The study was released simultaneous to Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April and it follows other studies detailing the dangers of texting and driving and other distracting behaviors. In its study, information from the past 18 months and approximately 1,000 accidents were examined using software that was placed on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across the U.S. and collects data on their use. A driver was only labeled as distracted by the phone if they were using it while traveling faster than approximately nine miles per hour.

These statistics are troublesome. Given the number of people who have smartphones and attempt to multitask by checking text messages, emails, use social media and make calls while driving, it is no surprise that many result in a car crash. Those who have been injured in an accident will face medical bills, missed time at work and possibly worse. To receive compensation, it is important to have evidence as to the circumstances of the accident. When it has happened because of distracted driving, speaking to a legal professional experienced in helping clients who have been hurt in car accidents because of a distracted driver is the first step toward filing a claim.

Source: Boston Globe, "1 in 4 drivers who crashed were using phone just before, study finds," Matt Rocheleau, April 3, 2017

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