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Despite warnings, distracted driving a serious risk in Louisiana

The vast majority of car accidents in Louisiana are preventable. Drivers can follow a few simple rules to reduce the risk of a crash: never drive while intoxicated; never drive while fatigued; and always remain focused on the task of driving.

Unfortunately, distracted driving still factors into many injurious and fatal accidents, despite ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the risks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day about 1,060 people in the U.S. suffer injuries in auto accidents involving distracted driving, and 9 people each day in the U.S. lose their lives in distracted-driving crashes.

Texting while driving poses a distinct risk because the driver's visual, manual and cognitive capacities are all distracted at once. However, distracted driving doesn't always involve cell phones. Anything that distracts your eyes, hands or mind from driving could have serious consequences. A split second of distraction can change lives forever.

The CDC also notes that young people face an especially high risk of injury as a result of distracted driving. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from three years ago, nearly 50 percent of U.S. high school students aged 16 or older said they emailed or texted while behind the wheel. Teenagers who texted while driving were also found to be more likely to drink and drive or ride with an intoxicated driver than students who didn't text while driving.

If you have been injured by a distracted, drunken or otherwise negligent driver, then it is important to cover your legal bases for receiving the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. An attorney with experience in handling car accident cases can investigate the exact cause of the crash and help build your claim.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving," Jan. 28, 2014

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