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Connecticut distracted driving car accident attorneyDistracted driving is one of the most serious problems plaguing today’s roads. It is so easy, especially with the popularity and availability of cell phones and other handheld devices, for drivers to pay attention to something other than the road, putting themselves and everyone else around them in danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 3,200 people killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver in 2017. The NHTSA also estimates that more than 420,000 people are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers every year. These injuries can range from superficial scrapes or bruises to severe injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries.

What Is Distracted Driving?

There are a couple of definitions people use when they talk about distracted driving. In general, the NHTSA defines distracted driving as something that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of safely operating their vehicle. This can be literally any type of distraction, from a child in the back seat to a cell phone.

Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the collective term used for multiple types of activities that cause a driver to take their attention from the road. There are three different types of distractions that can affect drivers:

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teen, Connecticut car accident lawyerSummer can be the most enjoyable time of year—especially if you are a student reveling in the break from studying and exams. Unfortunately, data about car accidents shows us that summer can also be the most dangerous season for young people. In fact, an average of 260 teenagers lose their lives each month of summer due to motor vehicle accidents. This represents a 26 percent increase in fatal accidents as compared with other months of the year. If you are a parent with teenage drivers, there are ways that you can help your children stay safe while driving this summer.

Distracted Driving Is a Serious Issue for Young Drivers

If you are over the age of 30, you probably remember the days before everyone had a cell phone. If someone wanted to make a call while they were driving, they simply waited until they got home to do so. Nowadays, we have the ability to send a text, make a call, or Google a question at literally any time—including behind the wheel. Many younger drivers have lived their entire lives around technology, so disconnecting from their cell phone for even the duration of a drive can prove challenging. Tragically, thousands of teens and adults have died in car accidents caused by distracted driving. Over half of all teen crashes are now thought to be caused by distracted driving. If you have teenaged drivers, make sure you are talking to them about distracted driving and the importance of not using a cell phone while driving.

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infotainment, Hartford personal injury attorneysIt is amazing to think of how far the technology in cars has come. From Henry Ford’s Model T in 1908 to driverless cars in 2018, car manufacturers are always inventing new ways to use technology to better the driving experience. Vehicles now have the ability to allow drivers to control the car via touch screen. Other vehicles allow drivers to access GPS navigation directions, play music, listen to the radio, and more, all on a screen within the car. About one in three U.S. adults uses “infotainment” systems like these while they while driving. These advances in car technology are meant to make the driving experience more intuitive and efficient, but are these infotainment systems safe?

Driving Blind

According to a study commissioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA), infotainment systems may be putting drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians at serious risk. Because infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, they cause drivers to essentially be driving blind. Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that individuals who use in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were dangerously distracted. The average user of infotainment features is visually and mentally distracted for over 40 seconds when using the system to do things like program navigation, find a radio station, or send a text message. The risk of getting into a car accident doubles by drivers taking their eyes off the road for only 2 seconds, and infotainment users are distracted for 20 times that long!

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cell phone, Hartford car accident attorneyDo you use your cell phone while you are driving? If you can honestly answer that question with a firm “no,” you are squarely in the minority of American drivers, a new study suggests. With cellular phones and mobile devices having been a part of our lives for more than two decades, nearly everyone is aware of the dangers they present while behind the wheel. For a variety of reasons, however, we cannot seem to put our devices down and focus on the road.

Disturbing Numbers

According to a study recently conducted by Zendrive, a driving analytics company, U.S. drivers use their phones in some way on 88 percent of the trips they take. Think about that for a moment. These numbers mean that only about one trip in every ten is completed without the driver using his or her cell phone or mobile divorce. Even more telling was the scope of the research; Zendrive analyzed data collected from more than 3 million drivers covering some 5.6 billion miles of driving. The study’s findings suggest that the issue is not limited to a particular demographic or age group—nearly everyone uses their phone while driving.

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cell phone, Hartford personal injury attorneyMobile cellular technology is absolutely amazing. Evolving from battlefield radio communication devices used during World War II, the first consumer cell phone hit the global market in 1983. Produced by Motorola, the first cellular phone was bulky, expensive, and would die after just 30 minutes of talk time. In the three decades since, we have seen tremendous advances in the communications industry, with cell phones now being able to fit comfortably in a pocket and maintain a charge for days at a time. Today, however, cell phones have also become a source of danger, especially when they are used by individuals who are driving a car or truck. While using a hand-held cell phone while driving is illegal in many states, including Connecticut, many drivers cannot put their phones down, contributing to many unnecessary accidents, injuries, and deaths.

Seriously Injured Couple Settles

In late 2016, a New Britain couple agreed to a $1.3 million settlement to close their claim against a man who allegedly caused their injuries by texting while driving. While the man reportedly admitted fault for the March 2014 accident, he refuted the claims that he was texting behind the wheel. The man’s attorney said that cell phone records show that the driver had not been texting for at least 30 minutes prior to the crash. The defendant claimed that his phone rang, and he looked down at it. By the time he looked back up, the man’s lawyer said, it was too late, and he crashed into the couple’s vehicle.

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