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Facts about distracted driving

Colorado drivers and passengers in motor vehicles should be wary of distracted drivers. People who drive while distracted could be more likely to cause an auto accident. Accidents in which a distracted driver was involved account for more than nine deaths and 1,153 injuries every day in the United States. Although new laws are being made to decrease instances of distracted driving, no evidence has yet proven their effectiveness to do so.

Data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that assessed distracted driving from eight countries, including the U.S., strongly pointed to a greater likelihood of U.S. drivers being distracted on the road than those in other countries. About 69 percent of U.S. participants said that within the past 30 days, they had spoken on their cell phone while driving. This number was presented in comparison to only 59 percent of drivers in Portugal and 21 percent in the United Kingdom.

Teen drivers might be among the most likely groups to engage in distracted driving. Distracted driving might include manual, visual and cognitive distractions that cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel, their eyes of the road or their mind off of driving. Also, according to the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 2011, almost half of the high school students age 16 and up use their phone to check email or text while driving.

People who are victims of auto accidents in which a distracted driver was at fault might be entitled to a settlement to cover costs associated with missing work, fixing damage to their vehicles, paying hospital bills and other expenses. An attorney could evaluate one's case, gather evidence and present a claim to insurance companies on a client's behalf.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", December 29, 2014

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