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Defining distracted driving in Minnesota

When a driver uses a piece of technology, answers a phone call or talks to a passenger, that driver is distracted. Distracted driving led to the deaths of 3,328 people in 2012, with an additional 421,000 suffering injuries.

A driver may engage in visual, manual or cognitive distracted driving. Visual distractions include a driver taking his or her eyes off of the road, and manual distraction includes any act that takes a driver's hands off of the steering wheel. Cognitive distraction occurs when a driver takes his or her mind off of driving. Research indicates that younger drivers may be more prone to distraction due to their inexperience.

Nearly half of all high school students in the United States email or send text messages while driving. Furthermore, those who engage in these activities may be more likely to ride in a car with someone who has been drinking or drink and drive themselves. In an attempt to counteract such risky behavior, states have banned using cellphones while driving or introduced graduated licenses for teen drivers. Federal laws that ban federal employees from texting while driving for work have also gone into effect.

People who have been hurt by distracted drivers may wish to take legal action. An attorney may be able to help an injured victim file a personal injury suit against any liable driver and win compensation to pay for his or her medical expenses. Compensation may also be awarded to pay for vehicle damage, long-term medical needs and lost wages due to an inability to work after getting hurt.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", January 03, 2015

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Law Office of Jeffrey A. Jones, PA

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