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Massachusetts distracted driving takes different forms

When you hear the term "distracted driving," what pops into your mind? For many Worcester residents, it is probably texting and driving, or maybe talking on the phone while driving. Though these two forms of distracted driving are extremely risky, distracted driving actually -- and, unfortunately -- comes in many different forms. What they all have in common is their avoidable nature, and their ability to cause serious auto accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), crashes caused by a distracted driver injure over 1,150 people every day in the United States. Even worse, these types of car accidents claim the lives of nearly 10 people per day. The CDC classifies distracted driving into three main categories: visual, manual and cognitive. Visual distracted driving involves removing one's eyes from the road, while manual distracted driving means the driver's hands are taken off the wheel. Cognitive distracted driving indicates that the driver's mind is not on driving, but on something else.

Thus, even when a driver is wearing a hands-free cellphone device, he or she may still be cognitively distracted due to the conversation, or manually distracted due to fiddling with the device. Not surprisingly, texting and driving can be particularly dangerous because it combines all three forms of distracted driving. Moreover, in-vehicle navigation systems, while useful, are also a potential source of distraction. Some drivers may think that, because these systems are already in the car, they are safe to use while driving. This is the not necessarily the case, and a driver can pose a severe threat if he or she fails to use the system safely.

No matter which type of distracted driving is present, a negligent driver can cause extreme damage to people, vehicles or property. If a Massachusetts resident is the victim of an accident caused by distracted driving, that individual can pursue a civil lawsuit with the aid of a personal injury attorney. The results could be compensation for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: CDC.gov, "Distracted driving," accessed on July 24, 2015

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