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How serious is distracted driving?

Connecticut residents have long heard about the serious consequences that innocent people can be forced to suffer due to the actions of drunk drivers. While the war on drunk driving is far from over, there has been an increased awareness about these dangers that may help. At the same time, however, a new danger continues to loom and perhaps even grow—distracted driving.

What exactly is distracted driving? As the name implies, it is operating a motor vehicle with less than full attention. AAA explains that anything that takes a driver’s mind, hands or eyes off of the road or the act of driving can be a distraction. It is important to note here the inclusion of the mind as even talking on a phone in hands-free mode is therefore a distraction. Drivers should recognize the inherent risks associated with this, despite its social acceptability. Even eating and drinking while driving can reduce a driver’s ability to properly focus on driving.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2013, roughly 18 percent of automobile accidents that resulted in bodily injuries were caused by distracted driving. Another one in 10 crashes that resulted in the death of at least one person were caused by a driver’s distraction. As startling as these numbers sound, these estimates are actually believed to be lower than reality due to lack of people admitting the full truth in the wake of accidents.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about the dangers associated with distracted driving in Connecticut.

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