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Study: Texting and driving and distractions rise near schools

In Louisiana and throughout the nation, distracted driving is a problem that is simply not going away. Despite attempts on the part of government agencies and law enforcement to discourage drivers from operating their vehicles while distracted, it is an ongoing issue that causes injuries, deaths and substantial damage. Researchers are consistently examining data and formulating methods to measure the scope of the issue. One recent study shows that the practice is even more dangerous to the most vulnerable victims than previously thought.

A study from Zendrive reports there is an increase in risky activities when drivers are behind the wheel in school zones. Phone use is viewed as a major reason for the rise. People near schools were found to be in the most danger between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. due to pick-up activity. Urban schools are also prominently featured with this problem. This is important because of several factors. Since a vast chunk of schools -- one out of 11 -- is within 500 feet of busy roads and the leading reason for teen deaths is an auto accident, the combination of these two factors places people in greater risk when a driver engages in texting and driving and other distractions.

The states with the highest number of people engaging in these behaviors near schools were listed and Louisiana came in eighth. The company did extensive research with 75,000 schools in more than 2,200 counties with close to 4 million drivers. The following behaviors were assessed to come to their conclusions: if phones were being used with hands or hands free; if they were texting or using the phone for other purposes; or if they were simply holding it while the vehicle was in motion. Also considered were hitting the brakes hard and accelerating rapidly.

This information is not only important for parents to try and keep their children safe, but it is also a window into the potential cause of an auto accident. Children and younger people are naturally vulnerable when they are out and about. The increased frequency of texting and driving only serves to make the roads more dangerous. Those who were in a crash should be aware of everything they will be confronted with in the aftermath including medical expenses, long-term damage and more. Consulting with a legal professional who is experienced in car accidents can help.

Source: axios.com, "Risky driving near schools peaks in afternoons," Kim Hart, Sept. 14, 2017

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