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New studies from Risk Institute shed light on distracted driving

Many drivers in New Mexico, as elsewhere, use their phone or in-vehicle technology while behind the wheel. This can lead to accidents. The National Safety Council states that such accidents contribute to an average of 9 deaths and 100 injuries every day in the U.S. To combat the growing epidemic of distracted driving, the NSC has designated every April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

For April 2019, the Risk Institute at The Ohio State University has presented some research that could help in predicting and curbing deadly behaviors among drivers. In one study, the institute explored the ways that could encourage good habits, such as the giving of insurance discounts to those who practice safe driving. Researchers found that drivers are more likely to engage in distracting activities if they are more confident of their driving skills.

In another study, the institute analyzed the records of 1.4 million crashes that took place in Ohio between 2013 and 2017 and found that distracted driving crashes were more prominent in urbanized areas than rural. The length of a roadway segment, its location and the number of lanes all affected the distracted driving crash rate. This rate went down on roads that had a median or a shoulder with asphalt pavement. Roundabouts reduced the severity of such crashes too.

Technology is not the only source of distraction; drivers may distract themselves by eating, drinking, putting on makeup or talking with a passenger. Those who have been injured at the hands of a distracted driver may have good grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, so they may want a lawyer to evaluate their case before the three-year statute of limitations runs out. If successful, they might be reimbursed for medical expenses, vehicle repair costs, the wages they lost during their physical recovery and more. The lawyer may handle negotiations.

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