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Federal agency discusses distracted driving

Recent studies suggest that distracted driving may be a dangerous problem in West Virginia and across the nation. Noting this trend, the Federal Communication Commission released a number of statistics concerning crashes involving distracted drivers. It also noted a number of different ways that drivers might attempt to reduce such accidents.

According to the FCC, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that texting while driving increases the risk of being involved in an accident by 23 times. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that over 3,000 deaths and over 416,000 injuries occurred in 2010 due to distracted driving, and a recent statistic revealed that 11 percent of teen drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 who were involved in a collision admitted that texting contributed to their crash.

Currently there is not a national ban limiting drivers from texting while driving or from using a cell phone behind the wheel; however, several states have put laws into effect to prevent collisions due to distracted driving. In order to curb such behavior, the FCC suggests that parents lead their children by example, refusing to use handheld devices while driving with their children. It may also be helpful to discuss the issue frankly with older children, setting rules for teenage drivers.

Car accidents affect many individuals throughout the country, and those who are injured may suffer from a number of financial burdens, including lost wages or the cost of medical treatment. Such costs may be recoverable through a personal injury lawsuit filed in civil court. Those who have been injured in an accident that may have been caused by a distracted driver may discuss their case with a lawyer who is familiar with car accident cases.

Source: FCC, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", November 24, 2014

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