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Important statistics about distracted driving

In Kansas and across the country, driving while distracted is a serious risk to oneself and other people because it could increase the likelihood of being involved in an auto accident. About 3,328 people died in accidents involving a distracted driver in 2012. Furthermore, the effects of distracted driving could be increasing.

Distractions for drivers can be categorized into three types. A cognitive distraction involves a person's mind and focus, causing a driver to think about something other than driving. A manual distraction occurs when a driver removes their hands from the wheel while driving. The third type of distraction is a visual distraction, which occurs when someone looks somewhere other than the road. Combined, these kinds of distraction contribute to the deaths of more than nine people each day. Another 1,150 or more people suffer injuries in accidents involving a distracted driver daily.

Some examples of actions that distract drivers include using a cellphone to talk, text or check email. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2011 discovered that more than two-thirds of people ages 18 to 64 admitted to having talked on their phone while driving within the last 30 days. Nearly one-third of the same survey group had used their phone for texting or email in that same time period.

People who have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage and other expenses. Family members who lost loved ones in a fatal accident might also be able to collect recompense. An attorney could listen to the facts of what happened in a particular case and recommend a legal course of action to assist victims, either through negotiation or litigation.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", December 28, 2014

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