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Why distracted driving accidents have reached an all-time high

Distracted driving that can be blamed on our use of those mini computers we call cellphones has become a major cause of car crashes during the past decade. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this type of distracted driving has resulted in the highest percentage increase in fatal car crashes in more than 50 years.

As the number of distracted driving accidents has increased over the past decade, legislators and lobbying groups have put increased pressure on car manufacturers. Their efforts have largely been focused on encouraging them to come up with more hands-free alternatives to holding a phone while driving.

What's come out of this pressuring are new car features that include a variety of options for either talking on the phone or texting without holding the phone. In-car WiFi and addictive apps have emerged, though, that still require motorists to hold on to their devices to use them while driving.

Lawmakers seeking a reduction in distracted driving accidents have put pressure on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to collaborate with the National Safety Council (NSC) to make our roadways safer. What's come out of this collaboration is the "Road to Zero" strategy, an approach that aims to do away with all fatal car crashes within the next 30 years.

The two agencies intend to encourage states to impose more regulations requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets and to restrict how long truckers can drive. Other initiatives they hope to pass focus on stepping up enforcement of seat belt use as well as drunk and distracted driving laws.

They also note that accelerating research into autonomous driving vehicles is important as well. They note that because distracted motorists will no longer be doing the driving, accidents should be greatly reduced.

Until many of these additional safety measures are implemented, it can only be expected that the number of fatal accidents caused by distracted driving will continue to rise. If you know of someone that has either been killed or seriously injured at the hands of a distracted driver, then a Los Lunas car accident attorney can advise you of your right to compensation for your injuries or your loved one's injuries or wrongful death.

Source: The New York Times, "Biggest spike in traffic deaths in 50 Years? Blame apps," Neal Boudette, accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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