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Daydreaming is a major cause of distracted driving

Despite popular belief, smartphones may not be the No. 1 distraction hazard to New York drivers. Simple boredom, inattention and daydreaming are the largest causes of distracted driving crashes, according to a new report.

A study using data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System found that 10 percent of traffic deaths had distracted driving as a factor. Of these deaths, approximately 61 percent were caused by drivers who got lost in thought while they were driving. Comparatively, the study found that only 14 percent of the distracted driving deaths were caused by cell phone use.

When tasks become monotonous, like driving on the highway or over familiar roads, one's mind tends to wander. Self-driving technology is often thought of as a potential solution. However, the introduction of this software could actually make distracted driving even worse. Some drivers may not understand that self-driving and semi-autonomous software, like Tesla's Autopilot, still require drivers to pay attention for many traffic scenarios.

When a driver's eyes leave the road even for a few seconds, he or she may not see the light change or the cars in front slowing down. This could lead to a serious accident that could result in multiple injuries or even fatalities. If another driver or passenger gets hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, he or she may be eligible to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim. An attorney could work with the insurance agencies involved to reach a settlement that covers all of the damages, including any medical costs associated with the car accident injuries.

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