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NSC will draw attention to distracted driving in April

Drivers staring at cellphone screens are becoming a worryingly familiar sight in West Virginia and around the country. Distracted driving accidents have increased alarmingly in recent years, and studies by AT&T and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggest that mobile electronic devices like smartphones are likely responsible. The studies not only indicate that a disturbing number of American drivers routinely send text messages or use the internet, but they also reveal that many of these reckless motorists feel they are doing nothing wrong.

The National Safety Council will be observing Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, and an AAA study of American drivers suggests that this type of campaign is warranted. A concerning number of drivers admitted to AAA researchers that they had engaged in risky behavior while behind the wheel during the previous month, and older drivers were almost as reckless as their younger counterparts according to the study.

The AT&T study provides insights into what American drivers use their cellphones for. Four out of 10 said that they read or write social media posts while driving, 30 percent admitted to accessing the internet while behind the wheel and 10 percent confessed to engaging in video chats. The apparent cognitive dissonance of these motorists was revealed when 27 percent of the respondents who admitted to shooting videos while driving said that they were able to perform this dangerous task without jeopardizing the safety of other road users.

The overwhelming majority of traffic accidents involve some sort of human error. Experienced personal injury attorneys may pursue civil remedies on behalf of road users who have suffered injury, loss or damage due to the negligent actions of others, but establishing liability when distracted driving is suspected can be challenging. Police reports may not always be conclusive in these situations, and attorneys may study cellphone records for additional evidence of distraction.

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