The scourge of distracted driving

Back in the "good old days," distracted driving used to mean someone was putting on makeup or trying to reach the last fry in the fast food bag. These days, there are so many ways to be distracted. Most of us have GPSs in our cars, plus smartphones and tablets that ding with an enticing notification while we're on the road. That siren call of an email, text or new post is too much for many to handle, even though we all know the dangers.

Over 400,000 people are injured and another 3,000 are killed every year because of distracted drivers. In fact, distracted driving plays a role in around 20 percent of all accidents. When it comes to teen drivers, those numbers skyrocket. We might be tempted to think that voice-to-text and hands-free calling are the safe way to go but studies show that they are just as distracting or even more so than your average handheld device.

Ironically, 75 percent of the country's population supports a ban on handheld devices but 25 percent admitted they still place calls while on the road. Another 50 percent said they answer calls that come in while driving.

Here's the tough part about all of this: even if you stop driving distracted, you're still sharing the road with truck drivers, teen drivers and others who are driving distracted.

If one of those distracted drivers has caused the death of a loved one, an attorney may be able to help you get compensation for medical bills, funeral costs and pain and suffering.

Source: wzzm13.com, "Driving Smart: Distracted driving dangers," Mackenzie Thaden, January 21, 2017

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