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Distracted driver campaign seeks to reduce its frequency

These days, many Louisianans are aware of the fact that they might encounter a distracted driver when out on the road. The number of ways in which a person can be distracted has exploded due to advancements in technology. Whereas radios, eating and dealing with passengers were the main distractions in years past, the list has expanded to texting and driving, emailing, watching films, sports and more. Legislators, law enforcement, safety advocates and insurers are seeking ways to tamp down on the practice. With that, a new campaign was initiated by Travelers to reduce distracted driving.

The campaign is called "Every Second Matters" and will have forums to discuss why seemingly everyone knows distracted driving is dangerous even though almost 25 percent of Americans say they do it. Citing statistics saying that there were more than 40,000 deaths on the road in 2016, the executive vice president of Travelers stated that distracted driving is a major factor in these deaths, and it must be studied. The series will have professionals exploring the statistics regarding driver distractions and introduce strategies to stop it from happening.

Despite the inherent knowledge of the risks of distracted driving, the statistics indicate that it is a growing issue. In its 2017 Travelers Risk Index, it was found that 23 percent of Americans who were surveyed admitted to using devices and technology while behind the wheel even though 80 percent still admitted it was dangerous to do so. Three out of 10 people stated they were almost in a crash because they were distracted. 10 percent state that they have been in a crash because of driving while distracted. 23 percent said they were in a car accident because of someone else driving while distracted. Work issues are a problem, as 43 percent of employees have said they reply to work-related communication while driving. Generation Xers and Millennials reply to work-related contact while behind the wheel at similar rates -- 54 percent each say they do so.

This information is useful to try and convince drivers as to the dangers of being a distracted driver. However, the reality is that no matter how many studies are presented, crackdowns are initiated and people are injured or killed because of a distracted driving car crash, there will still be a percentage of people who do it believing they can multitask safely. When there is a car accident, there can be vast medical costs, lost income, major life changes and more. A lawsuit is often the only way to pursue adequate compensation. Discussing a case with an attorney who handles cases involving car accidents can help.

Source: Claims Journal, "Travelers Launches Distracted Driving Campaign," Nov. 9, 2017

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