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3 most common types of distracted driving

You drove home after a long day at work thinking nothing of the commute. You had only a few miles to go when a driver came seemingly out of nowhere and collided with you. Just before the car accident, you noticed the driver was turned away, seeming to look at something on the seat instead of the road ahead. That distracted action was a choice, and it's one that has now left you with injuries.

Distracted driving causes thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. In fact, in 2014, 3,179 people died in distracted driving accidents. Another 431,000 were hurt in crashes related to distracted driving.

Here are three types of distracted driving and why they put you at risk.

1. Texting and driving

The risks caused by texting and driving come from the fact that you take your eyes off the road for several seconds at a time. Taking your eyes off the road for only five seconds is enough time for you to travel the length of a football field while blindfolded if you're traveling at an average of speed of 55 miles per hour.

Texting is also a manual and a cognitive activity, so a driver's hands and mind are distracted while texting.

2. Talking on the phone

Talking on the phone may not take your eyes off the road, but it does make your trip more dangerous. As you become more involved in your conversation, you miss subtle cues on the road that tip you off to potential accidents or similar incidents. When you have a conversation, you imagine what you're talking about, and that process takes your mind off the road, even if it doesn't take your eyes away from the road.

3. Talking to passengers

Yes, talking to passengers can be dangerous. Imagine a mother turning to check on her child who is coughing in the back seat or a teen dancing in the car while she drives with friends. In both scenarios, the individuals aren't paying attention to what's ahead of them, and that puts them at risk of being involved in a car crash.

Distracted driving kills, and it's important for those who participate in these dangerous behaviors to learn that they will be held responsible. Your attorney can help you file a claim against a negligent, distracted driver, so you get the compensation you need. Your attorney can also handle all communications with insurance companies while you focus on healing.

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