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Trend shows distracted driving fatalities increasing

North Carolina residents may not be aware with just how common an occurrence distracted driving has become. Distracted driving occurs when a driver is focused on another activity when operating a vehicle, such as texting on a smartphone, making calls, changing the music or even eating and drinking while driving.

The numbers show that traffic fatalities increased between 2014 and 2015 following a seven-year decline. Further, 2016 traffic fatality estimates suggest that more people died during that year than in 2008. The increase in traffic deaths is attributed in large part to distracted driving as the percentage of traffic fatalities caused by distracted driving increased more than the percentages of accidents that had other factors, such as drunk driving, drowsy driving and speeding.

An organization called EndDD.org has noted just how important defensive driving is to prevent potentially fatal accidents caused by distracted driving. Drivers should always be scanning the environment so that they can identify potential hazards. These hazards could include other drivers who do not appear to be paying attention and pedestrians who could potentially step into the street without looking. For example, drivers should be wary of red lights at intersections and stop lights. If a hazard is detected, the driver should be prepared to respond appropriately.

Car accidents caused by distracted drivers can leave those involved with serious or life-threatening injuries. A personal injury attorney may help by gathering evidence that shows the full extent of the accident damages, including medical costs and other economic damages. If the negligent motorist's insurance company offers an insufficient settlement, the attorney might deem it advisable to file a lawsuit against that driver.

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