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Distracted driving causes numerous car accidents each year

Many people would agree that technology has enhanced our lives in several ways. However, when the technology such as cell phones is used while driving a vehicle, it can take lives instead. This is why nearly every state, including Connecticut, has some sort of distracted driving laws meant to prevent car accidents caused by the use of electronic devices behind the wheel.

Distracted driving, which includes anything that takes a driver's attention off the road and surroundings, killed 3,179 and injured 431,000 people in 2014 alone. Anything can be a distraction for a driver, but texting receives a great deal of attention because it takes all of a driver's cognitive, manual and visual attention. It was calculated that 169.3 billion texts were being exchanged every month as of Dec. 2014. Many of those were sent or received from behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Young people tend to use electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers do. Driver in their 20s tend to be involved in a high percentage of fatal accidents. They also represent approximately 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were involved in those crashes. There is also a high percentage of teenagers who text while they drive; when that is combined with inexperience behind the wheel, it can be deadly.

Each year, many Connecticut residents are killed or seriously injured in car accidents caused by drivers distracted by electronic devices or other activities that take their attention off the road. Victims, including the families of fatal victims, retain the right to file civil actions against the driver deemed responsible. If the evidence establishes that the injuries suffered -- fatal or otherwise -- were due to the negligence of another, damages could be awarded to help defray the financial losses incurred due to the accident.

Source: distraction.gov, "Distracted Driving : Facts And Statistics", Oct. 7, 2016

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