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Understanding distracted driving

Missouri drivers who engage activities that draw their attention away from their driving are engaging in distracted driving. These activities may include texting or talking on their cellphone, conversing with other people in the vehicle, adjusting the navigation system or stereo, drinking or eating.

The most disturbing type of distraction is texting. In order to read or send off a text, a driver will have to remove their gaze from the road for five seconds. If they are driving a vehicle that is traveling at 55 miles per hour, they will have driven the length of a football field before returning their gaze to the road and their driving.

It is impossible to drive safely if one does not have their full attention on driving. Engaging in any type of activity or behavior that is not driving is distractive and raises the chances of an accident occurring.

The consequences of distracted driving can be deadly. A total of 3,477 fatalities occurred in 2015 alone due to distracted driving. For that same year, 391,000 people sustained injuries in crashes attributed in some way to distracted driving.

During the daytime, an estimated 660,000 drivers are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle while using their cellphones. This statistic presents a substantial potential for injuries and death on the road. The largest age group that was reported to be engaged in an activity besides driving when fatal crashes occurred were teenagers.

A personal injury attorney may advise clients injured in car accidents about their legal options. Financial compensation may be pursued on behalf of injured clients for head-on collisions, T-bone accidents or rear-end collisions that were caused by distracted driving and any other negligent driving behaviors. Negligent drivers may be held financially liable for medical expenses and lost wages that resulted from accident injuries.

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