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There's more to distracted driving than cellphones

For many New Mexico residents, the image of motorists using cellphones is what comes to mind when they hear the term "distracted driving." However, studies reveal that cellphone usage is not the main cause of distracted driving. In fact, a new report points to daydreaming as the top culprit.

While any type of distracted driving should be avoided, a study by Erie Insurance has found that daydreaming and losing focus on the road is the greatest cause of car accidents. The study analyzed information from 172,000 deaths caused by auto crashes. Of these, roughly 10 percent involved distracted driving. In 61 percent of these incidents, the distraction came from daydreaming while driving, not smartphone use. The data, which was compiled over five years, came from the Fatality Reporting System. The use of cell phones while driving was a factor in only 14 percent of these crashes.

Even some autonomous technology designed to prevent the consequences of distracted driving seems to be working against its goal. It has been revealed that Tesla's Autopilot is actually helping human drivers relax so much that they become even less focused. Other makers of self-driving cars are looking at technology that includes eye-tracking to make sure humans are still paying attention.

The victim of a car accident caused by distracted driving might wish to pursue a personal injury claim. They might find it beneficial to speak with a lawyer who can help with the negotiation process. Compensation could potentially cover lost wages, health care costs and pain and suffering.

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