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Reflecting on the dangers of distracted driving

Distracted driving is becoming more and more of a problem in Missouri and around the country. Drivers seemingly care more about their smartphones and other electronic devices than about the personal safety of their passengers or occupants of other vehicles. In fact, of all fatalities during 2015 related to human choice, distracted driving deaths increased at a rate faster than fatalities caused by drowsy or drunk driving, a lack of wearing a seat belt and speeding, according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Additional research has revealed that a large majority of people agree that distracted driving poses a greater safety threat than drunk driving. An educational program held at businesses and schools is helping to teach people how to protect themselves and their loved ones by driving defensively. This involves repeatedly performing cognitive processes or tasks that require concentration, such as looking for possible threats, identifying them and figuring out a way to respond.

For example, while driving through an intersection, it is a good idea for motorists to identify the hazards associated with drivers or pedestrians who appear to be distracted by smartphones and try to avoid them. Some of these include drivers who fail to stop at a red light and pedestrians who step out into traffic.

Individuals who use a cellphone while they are operating a vehicle or taking a walk down a busy street put themselves in harm's way. Distracted driving can lead to a serious car wreck in which others are severely injured or killed. Pedestrians distracted with an electronic device could be injured if they walk out in traffic. Those who are victims of distracted drivers might consider contacting anl attorney who could help them pursue compensation for their accident-related losses.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Rethinking Defensive Driving in Light of Distracted Driving", Joel Feldman, April 3, 2017

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