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Distracted driving increases crash risk, study says

The fact that distracted driving is dangerous is common sense to most Tennessee residents. Still, looking at statistics that show just how dangerous it is when cell phone use is combined with driving can be quite surprising. Talking and driving or texting and driving is still a common practice, even when it is widely known that it is very dangerous, and victims are needlessly pulled into accidents involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving is a form of negligence, meaning that drivers are oftentimes liable for damages in an accident and victims are sometimes times eligible to receive compensation.

A recent study confirms what is likely common sense to most Tennessee residents -- most kinds of cell phone use raises the risk of a car accident occurring. Contrary to many other studies, though, this recent one showed that simply talking on the phone did not appear to be dangerous. Yet, talking still requires drivers to dial first, which does conclusively increase the danger.

By installing video cameras, GPS systems, devices that measure speed and acceleration and lane trackers in the cars of 42 newly licensed teenaged drivers' cars, researchers were able to gather data surrounding cell phone use while driving. What they found was that dialing or reaching for a cell phone increased the chances of these young drivers being involved in an accident sevenfold. It did not just have to be a phone, either -- reaching for food or staring at a roadside object also proved to be dangerous for young drivers.

It is impossible to prevent others from engaging in distracted driving. When car accidents are caused by distracted drivers, it is often frustrating. The good news is, victims in these cases do not always need to suffer with financial strain. If it can be proven, with evidence, that another party engaged in distracted driving -- or, in other words, displayed negligence -- then victims may be able to pursue compensation for the resulting damages from the crash.

Source: News Channel 5, "Texting, Dialing While Driving Raises Crash Risk," Jan. 2, 2014

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