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Distracted driving and teenage drivers

Smartphones are a daily part of life in the 21st century, but several government studies show that these gadgets are also making highways more hazardous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released statistics that show that after years of declining, the number of traffic fatalities in 2015 increased by more than 7 percent from the prior year. North Carolina parents of teenage drivers may be dismayed to learn that the number among that young demographic increased by 10 percent, which was the highest percentage increase of any age group.

The NHTSA data broke down overall 2015 traffic fatalities according to various causes as well. It found that while speeding deaths increased by 3 percent over the previous year and 4.9 percent from driving while impaired, the largest percentage increase in traffic fatalities was distracted driving at 8.8 percent. The latter includes texting while driving, which is particularly prevalent among teens.

Those figures have led increased public awareness about distracted driving. The organization End Distracted Driving was founded by the father of a teenage girl who was killed by a negligent driver, and National Teen Driver Safety Week occurs annually in mid-October. Parents are urged to model safe driving practices for their teens and talk frankly about the catastrophic injuries they can suffer from distracted driving.

Car accidents caused by negligent drivers can leave injured victims facing the need for months of expensive medical care and treatment. In many cases they are unable to ever return to gainful employment. They may want to have an attorney file a personal injury lawsuit on their behalf that would seek compensation for those and other losses from the at-fault motorist.

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