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Distracted drivers are a local, state and national problem

It is not uncommon to see drivers not paying attention when behind the wheel. These distracted drivers can be found in South Carolina and all across the country. As a result of their choices, numerous individuals are hurt or even die in auto accidents that could so easily be avoided.

When driving, there are a lot of things that can distract a driver, including cell phones, the radio, navigation systems, passengers and eating -- among various others. While all of these things may not seem like major offenses, any of them can take a driver's focus for just enough time for an accident to happen. For example, it is believed that when a driver is texting, his or her eyes leave the road for an average of five seconds. During that time, a car will travel about 300 feet -- depending on the speed at which it is moving. A lot can happen in 300 feet -- such as running stop signs or traffic signals and failing to see pedestrians or other vehicles.

In-vehicle distractions have been grouped into three categories: manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions are those that involve a driver removing his or her hands from the driver's wheel -- such as reaching for items in the car. Visual distractions are those that remove a driver's eyes from the road -- such as texting or engaging with passengers. Finally, cognitive distractions are those that remove one's thoughts from driving, making one's reaction time decrease.

Nationally, April is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month. As such, it seems appropriate to bring attention to the dangers that distracted drivers pose to public safety, as well as to let victims of these types of auto accidents know that they can seek help following such events. The losses commonly sustained by victims or -- in the event of fatality -- surviving family members can be devastating in numerous ways. With assistance, compensation for any damages suffered may be achieved through filing and successfully litigating legal claims in a South Carolina civil court.

Source: endd.org, "Learn the Facts About Distracted Driving", Accessed on April 17, 2016

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