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New study shows distracted drivers are still a major risk

In New York and throughout the United States, distracted driving is a major danger to everyone on the road. It does not take a significant amount of effort to look at drivers and see who is holding a device in their hand and is paying attention to it in lieu of watching the road. However, since legislators and law enforcement are increasingly cognizant of the problem distracted drivers present and have taken steps to stop them and issue citations, it was expected to reduce its frequency. Unfortunately, as a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows, people are still using their devices behind the wheel to an alarming degree.

IIHS conducted a study where in Northern Virginia. They watched drivers to see who had a cellphone in their hand, was manipulating it and who was talking into it. These drivers were found to be 57 percent more likely to be handling their device than they were in 2014. Over 2 percent of drivers observed did so in 2014. That rose to 3.4 percent in 2018.

Yet, IIHS says that people can become distracted by factors other than cellphones when driving. Eating, drinking, grooming, smoking and even when trying to be safer with their devices by using a handset are all distracting. In 2017, there were approximately 37,000 fatalities. This is the latest statistical information available. People manipulating their phones rose by 3.4 percent, and those who are doing so are at nearly two-thirds higher danger of being in an accident. At least, 800 fatalities could have been because of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is so common that after an accident, it is very possible that the other driver was using his or her phone and texting and driving, surfing the web, using social media or performing some other nonessential task. With the medical costs, damage, lost time at work and potential death from car accidents, knowing why the crash occurred is imperative when considering a legal filing. As this study shows, more people than previously believed are distracted by a handheld device.

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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