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Study finds distractions are the leading cause of car accidents

When a car accident occurs in New York, police officers and other authorities may be called to the scene. One of the most important parts of the accident investigation is determining the cause of the accident. Some factors that cause accidents, such as bad weather and faulty vehicle mechanics, cannot be controlled by the driver. Nonetheless, many accidents are in fact caused by driver negligence.

A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute finds that 75 percent of accidents on the road are caused by driver error. The study also found that drivers are engaging in distracting behaviors 68 percent of the time they are behind the wheel.

The study was conducted over a three-year period. Cameras and sensors were installed in the cars of volunteer participants. After studying the three years of footage, researchers found behaviors that require drivers to take their eyes off the road for a longer period of time are the most likely to cause a crash. Some of the behaviors that were most likely to cause an accident include: reaching to grab an item, using the phone, texting, using the car touch screen and emotional distress. Younger people, in particular, were more likely to be distracted while driving.

It is also important to note that the drivers in the study were volunteers, meaning that they knew they were being recorded and were probably driving more safely than non-volunteers. This means that the actual number of distracted drivers on the roadways is likely higher than the study indicates. These shocking numbers show that steps must be taken to reduce distracted driving on the roadways. Fewer distracted drivers mean more lives saved.

Source: Headlines & Global News, "Distractions Cause The Most Car Accidents Says Study," Dahlia Snaiderman, Feb. 23, 2016

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
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