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Car and truck accidents could be linked to handheld devices

When out on the road in Ohio and across the nation, the concern about distracted drivers is a realistic one. Because the growth of smartphones and handheld devices has grown exponentially in recent years, it can be an irresistible temptation to check it repeatedly. A distracted truck driver is especially dangerous because of the size of their vehicles, the speeds they travel and how much damage they can do if there is a crash. Paying attention to various studies of how distracted driving behaviors are impacting road safety is useful for those who have been in an accident and are preparing for a legal filing to seek compensation.

A 2018 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examined drivers in Virginia and how often they were distracted by a cellphone. The study was compared to a similar one from four years earlier and found that drivers were 57 percent likelier to be using their device in 2018 than they were then. Via observation, 3.4 percent of drivers were seen manipulating their device in 2018. That is a rise from 2.3 percent in 2014.

IIHS also found that 3.7 percent of drivers in the northern part of the state were seen talking on their device. That is a reduction from 4.1 percent in 2014. Just under three percent were seen simply with the phone in their hand in 2018. In 2014, that was 4.9 percent. The concern about this is nationwide. Sixty-four percent of people who took part in a 2018 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey said they believed distracted drivers was a bigger worry than three years before. Extrapolating the known statistics for fatalities because of distracted driving, the chance of a fatal crash could be as much as two-thirds higher when manipulating a device.

Smartphones are just one way in which people can be distracted behind the wheel. Passengers, changing the radio station, eating, checking a GPS device and more can contribute to the danger. Truckers can be vulnerable to many of these as they are often multitasking. People who are in a trucking accident should know that the aftermath can be costly in a personal and professional way with medical costs, lost time at work, the inability to contribute to a family as they did before, and in many other ways. Understanding whether the accident happened because a trucker was distracted is critical to a legal filing. A law firm that helps clients after truck accidents should be called for a consultation to discuss a potential legal case immediately.

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