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The effects of distracted driving on the roadways

Distracted driving occurs when individuals take their hands off the wheel, eyes off the road or minds off handling the vehicle. Activities that can cause an individual to become distracted include conversing with someone in the car, texting, eating and using technology that is built into their vehicle. Reading and sending text messages is considered to be the most dangerous form of distraction since it requires the use of the mind, eyes and hands. Residents of Colorado should take note of the following statistics in order to be aware of what drivers should avoid doing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately nine people are killed each day because of distracted drivers. In 2011, 3,360 individuals died in accidents involving distracted drivers and an additional 421,000 individuals were injured. Almost 20 percent of car accidents in 2011 involved distracted driving.

In the United States, 69 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported texting and driving in the past 30 days. In Portugal, 59 percent of drivers said they were guilty of this distraction while only 21 percent of drivers in the United Kingdom answered affirmatively. Similarly, 31 percent of U.S. drivers in the aforementioned demographic reported sending emails and driving, while in Portugal and Spain, percentages ranged from 31 percent to 15 percent.

If an individual has been injured in an auto accident, a legal representative that has experience in pursuing action against negligent drivers may be of assistance. After gathering and assessing evidence provided by authorities, witnesses and other sources, a lawyer may decide to file a claim that might be brought before the judge. If the court finds the defendant to be liable or both the defendant and plaintiff reach a pretrial settlement, a substantial amount of compensation may be awarded to the injured individual.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", December 06, 2014

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