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5 things to know about distracted driving crashes

Distracted driving crashes are preventable. Drivers who aren't giving the road their full attention can crash into other vehicles. This can injure innocent people who were just going about their normal activities. If you were the victim of a distracted driving accident, you might have injuries. Those injuries might require medical care, time off work and other damages. You should know these basic points about distracted driving crashes if you are dealing with the aftermath of one and plan to seek compensation.

#1: Distractions can come in three forms

There are three kinds of distractions that drivers must contend with, notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distractions require the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. Manual distractions require the driver to take his or her hands off the steering wheel. Cognitive distractions take the driver's attention and mind off driving. In some cases, these all come together to create a perfect storm of sorts that can lead to an accident.

#2: Cellphones are a huge distraction

Cell phones are one of the biggest distractions that lead to car crashes. This is because of the draw for drivers to check texts, social media accounts and make phone calls. These actions require the driver to take his or her attention off the road.

#3: Other distractions might occur

Other distractions, including talking to other passengers, using GPS devices, changing the radio station and eating can lead to crashes. Drivers must be able to give their full attention to keeping control of their vehicle. Anything that prevents this, even reaching for something near them, is a distraction.

#4: Younger drivers are more at risk of distracted driving crashes

Younger drivers, particularly those who are under 20 years old, have the highest risk for distracted driving accidents that involve a fatality. This doesn't mean that older drivers are immune from distracted driving accident. These accidents can occur to anyone who is even slightly distracted, even if the distraction is only being lost in thought.

#5: Other factors can impact the crash severity

Many factors can affect the seriousness of the collision. Speed is one factor. The length of time the driver is distracted is another factor. A driver who is traveling at 55 miles per hour can go the length of a football field in around five seconds. This is the length of time that it might take the average person to text. This means that in one text, the driver is likely moving the full length of a football field without ever looking at the road.

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