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A distracted driver presents a serious danger to others

April is the month that has been set aside to highlight the dangers presented by operating a vehicle while engaging in other tasks. A distracted driver presents a hazard to all other motorists as well as pedestrians and cyclists. One Ohio physician stated that the warmer weather often correlates to an increase in more inattentive drivers on the road.

The doctor described any activity that takes one's attention from the task of driving as a serious problem. Distracted driving includes such seemingly innocuous tasks as eating and fiddling with radio selections. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released alarming figures concerning the number of victims who either died or suffered injury in 2015 as a result of an inattentive driver. Altogether, the number of deceased and injured was approximately 394,470.  In addition, those who were purportedly using their cellular devices while behind the wheel was an estimated 660,000.

Another agency recently set about disabusing drivers about commonly quoted untruths that are widely believed. One common belief is that talking on a phone while driving is comparable to talking to a passenger. This excuse is not valid, however, as a passenger can point out approaching hazards. Another common practice purportedly is sending text messages while waiting for a signal light to change. This is also an unsafe behavior as studies have shown that a driver remains preoccupied nearly 30 seconds after sending the last message.

The most widespread belief may be that a motorist is capable of handling more than driving while behind the wheel. This not true as the most important task -- driving -- will suffer as a result of a driver's reduced ability to react to hazards. Ohio families who have suffered through the actions of a distracted driver may decide to seek information concerning the merits of filing a personal injury civil suit. A favorable outcome may allow them to relieve the pressure that comes with unexpected medical expenses and related financial losses.

Source: wkbn.com, "Learn the truth behind your everyday driving habits", Abbie Schrader, April 22, 2017

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