Understanding the problem of distracted driving

Distracted driving is an increasing problem in our society today. Each day in the United States 9 victims are killed and nearly 1,200 victims are injured in distracted driving accidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving increases the chances of a motor vehicle accident such as a motorcycle accident. In general, distracted driving is considered engaging in activities while driving that remove the driver's attention from the roadway.

There are three different types, or main categories, of distracted driving. The different types of distracted driving include visual distractions, manual distractions and cognitive distractions. Visual distractions include distractions that remove the driver's eyes from the roadway; manual distractions include distractions that remove the driver's hands from the wheel; and cognitive distractions include distractions that remove the driver's mental focus or attention from the roadway and task at hand.

There are a number of different types, or specific examples, of distracted driving that many drivers engage in each day. Specific examples of distracted driving include cell phone use; texting or emailing while driving; operating navigation systems such as GPS technologies or radio systems while driving; eating while driving; or grooming while driving. Off the different types of distracted driving activities, texting while driving is considered particularly dangerous because it combines the three different types of distracted driving.

The scope of the problem of distracted driving is serious. During 2012, 3,328 victims were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. In addition, 421,000 victims were injured during 2012 in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. While the number of fatalities due to distracted driving was similar in 2011 and 2012, there was a 9 percent increase in distracted-driver related injuries from 2011 to 2012. Because of the increasingly serious nature of the problem of distracted driving and the injuries and harm that can result, it is important for victims injured by a distracted driver to be familiar with their rights and options when harmed.

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