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Distracted driving goes up during the summer

On June 15, the Travelers Institute hosted its Every Second Matters symposium at Capitol Hill as a way to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. As the public policy division of a leading provider of property casualty insurance, the institute is especially concerned with how distractions raise the risk for accidents, especially fatal ones. New Mexico residents should know about the data the Travelers Institute brought up to support its claims.

In particular, the organization wanted to stress the fact that the number of distracted drivers goes up in the summer. This is partly because more people are on the roads taking trips. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that people drive an average of 20 percent more miles in the summer than in the winter; June, July and August also see 29 percent more road deaths than December, January and February.

Data from a TrueMotion study links distracted driving with the summer season. Researchers analyzed the behavior of more than 20,000 drivers using sensor data from its mobile app, TrueMotion Family. This encompassed 9.4 million trips taken between January 2017 and May 2018. The researchers found that summertime drivers are distracted by their smartphones for 15 minutes out of every hour behind the wheel, which is nearly a 10 percent increase from the rest of the year.

Many organizations want to get the conversation going about the dangers of distracted driving. When it leads to auto accidents, innocent victims can be left with medical bills, vehicle damage and perhaps permanent disabilities. They may wish to file a claim in the effort to be compensated. A lawyer might assist by hiring third parties to build up proof against the defendant and going to the negotiation table. If a settlement cannot be achieved out of court, the victim and their attorney may consider litigation.

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