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Distracted drivers kill thousands each year

Every day, distracted drivers in Massachusetts put themselves and other people on the road at risk for injury and death. According to data that was collected in 2011 and 2012, approximately 3,300 people around the country die every year in accidents caused by a distracted driver. In 2012 alone, 421,000 people were injured in a distracted driving accident.

Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road is considered a form of distraction. These activities may consist of using a smartphone, eating and drinking, grooming, watching a video or talking to passengers. Sending and receiving text messages is considered to be one of the most dangerous driving distractions because the driver must devote their visual, cognitive and manual attention to the activity.

Data on distracted driving shows that this problem is mostly associated with younger drivers. About 25 percent of all teenage drivers respond to at least one text message each time they get behind the wheel. In fatal crashes involving a distracted driver, 27 percent of the drivers are reported to be in their 20s. Drivers under the age of 20 are also involved in large number of fatal distracted driving crashes. Approximately 10 percent of teenage drivers who have been involved in a fatal accident were reported to be distracted before the crash.

A person who was injured in a crash that involved a distracted driver may be able to hold the driver accountable by filing a civil claim for compensation. Many victims seek help from a personal injury attorney during this process in order to help determine what remedies to pursue. A car accident victim might be able to seek financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Source: Distraction.gov, "What is Distracted Driving?", December 19, 2014

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