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Distracted drivers cause thousands of accidents every year

Despite all of the education regarding distracted driving, this is still a major public safety concern. Distracted drivers are believed to cause thousands of accidents every year, in South Carolina and across the country. Many of these incidents, sadly, result in fatality.

According to the AAA Foundation, distractions behind the wheel contribute to approximately 16 percent of all fatal car crashes. An estimated 5,000 individuals are killed yearly due to such behaviors, and many more are injured. What makes these cases particularly tragic is that these accidents are highly preventable.

There are numerous things that can distract a driver. Electronic devices are believed to be the number one problem -- especially among younger drivers. Texting, emailing and downloading music tend to account for approximately 7 percent of distractions. Other major distractions include eating and interacting with passengers -- among various others.

Those in South Carolina who have been injured or lost loved ones due to distracted drivers may be entitled to seek compensation for their losses. Legal claims, such as personal injury, wrongful death and survival actions -- among others -- may be filed in civil court against the individual believed responsible for any damages sustained. While proving negligence can seem like a rather difficult task, if this can be done successfully, victims or -- in the event of fatality -- surviving family members may be awarded financial relief for any and all recoverable damages. These may include financial losses such as current and future medical and rehabilitation expenses, funeral costs and lost income, as well as non-economic damages such as for pain and suffering and loss of consortium.

Source: aaafoundation.org, "Distracted Driving", Accessed on March 20, 2016

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