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Activities that contribute to distracted driving

As some New Jersey drivers may know, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 421,000 individuals were injured on U.S. roads in 2012 due to distracted driving. The use of cell phones for talking and texting are two of the most common forms of distracted driving. However, other activities also result in car accident injuries and deaths.

Authorities point out that a distracted driver may act in several ways. Taking one's eyes off the road is a visual distraction, whether it is looking at a billboard or another person. Another type of distracted driving involves a physical activity that detracts from focus, such as texting or reaching for an item. Using in-vehicle equipment is distracting, but texting is considered more dangerous since it involves manual, visual and cognitive distractions.

Distracted driving accounted for 3,328 deaths in 2012 in the United States, which is a slight decrease from those in the previous year. The number of injured individuals increased by 9 percent between the two years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study to determine if this problem extends to drivers in other countries. While drivers ages 18 to 64 who drove and texted were essentially equal in the U.S. and Portugal, the number was considerably smaller in Spain. Younger drivers are more apt to drive while texting or sending emails. Drivers under 20 are most often involved in crashes involving distracted driving.

A driver who is distracted may cause serious injuries to other motorists. The injured motorist may suffer financial damage resulting from medical care and lost time at work. Consulting an attorney who may review cell phone records and other evidence obtained by law enforcement may help determine fault. An attorney's insight and guidance in recovering pecuniary damages by filing a personal injury suit may be beneficial.

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