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Car accidents and distracted driving risks

Pennsylvanians may not realize that texting is only one of the many distractions that can increase the risk of an auto accident. Although 46 states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation to prevent texting and driving, the law has not caught up to all of the available distractions on mobile phones. From Pokemon Go to Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other apps, mobile gaming and social media increase the possibility that a distracted driver will cause an accident.

In a recent survey of 2,500 high school-age drivers, researchers found that 70 percent of teenagers admitted to using mobile apps while driving. While these teenagers recognized alcohol and texting as the most common distracted or dangerous driving behaviors, only 6 percent recognized social media applications as a major risk. Another survey conducted by the National Safety Council found that 74 percent of respondents would use Facebook while driving.

The blurred line between which mobile distractions are accepted and which ones are not has created confusion among drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving can include activities such as talking on the phone, eating and texting. Distracted driving is often under reported, but crash data estimates that one-fourth of all car accidents are related to the use of a phone. A single text increases the risk of a car accident by six times, according to one University of Utah study.

Car accidents caused by distracted drivers may result in criminal as well as civil liability. A personal injury lawyer may be able to provide assistance when it comes to helping injured victims secure compensation. If successful, the victim may be eligible to receive damages for costs related to medical care after the accident, lost wages, lost earning potential and more.

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