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NHTSA on the dangers of distracted driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to raise the public's awareness of distracted driving and its dangers. Drivers in New York probably see others behind the wheel who are using their phones, and this is not uncommon. NHTSA estimates that each day, 660,000 drivers do so during the daylight hours. The agency states that distracted driving led to nearly 3,500 deaths and 391,000 cases of injury in 2015.

Taking one's eyes off the road for even a few seconds can make all the difference. Activities like eating and drinking, adjusting the stereo or the AC, talking with other passengers, and talking on the phone can all be considered distracting. Texting is another serious distraction. Sending and reading texts can take an average of five seconds, which means that the driver of a car going 55 mph could travel the length of an entire football field before looking up again.

In its fight against distracted driving, NHTSA releases public service announcements, shares stories and tips on Facebook and Twitter, and works with law enforcement agencies to raise awareness at the state and local levels. A nationwide advertising campaign alerts drivers with its slogan: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. The organization has also designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

It all depends on drivers themselves whether they want to drive distracted or not. If they choose to do so and cause a car collision, their auto insurance company may find itself faced with an injury claim. Before filing their claims, victims may want to retain legal assistance. A lawyer could bring in investigators, photographers, and other experts to build up the case and negotiate for a fair settlement, litigating if one cannot be agreed upon.

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