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Distracted driving is a serious problem

There are a variety of distractions that can result in drivers causing car accidents. For car accident victims who have been wrongfully harmed by another driver's negligence while talking or texting on a cell phone; playing with a radio or navigational device; or eating while driving, victims can suffer a frustrating experience. In addition, serious injuries and death are caused by distracted driving.

Victims may suffer physical, financial and emotional harm following a car accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the significance of the problem of distracted driving is demonstrated by the number of accidents, injuries and deaths it causes. Each day, the CDC reports, 1,153 victims are injured and 9 victims are killed in car accidents involving distracted driving.

Distracted driving is defined as engaging in activities that take the drivers attention away from driving. Categories of distracted driving include visual, manual and cognitive. Texting or emailing while driving are considered especially dangerous forms of distracted driving because they involve all three types of distraction.

To understand the significance of the problem, it is important to note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 3,328 victims were killed during 2012 in car accidents involving a distracted driver. Additionally, 421,000 victims were injured in distracted-driving related car accidents in 2012 which was a 9 percent increase from 2011. In 2011, nearly 20 percent of car accidents that resulted in injury involved distracted driving.

It is illegal to text while driving in Louisiana. Oftentimes, citations or criminal charges related to an accident establish the negligence of the party responsible for causing the harm. While the problem of distracted driving may be significant, for each family that is harmed the impact is equally significant. Because of this, victims, and their families, should be familiar with legal remedies available to assist and protect them when harmed.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving," Accessed Nov. 18, 2014

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