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Distracted driving goes beyond talking and texting

Louisiana drivers may be more aware of the dangers of texting and driving than in the past, but they may be less careful about playing games or engaging with social media while behind the wheel. From Google Maps to Pokemon Go and more, distractions related to cellphones are growing.

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions did a survey of 2,500 high schoolers and found that almost 70 percent of them said that they used apps while they were driving. Around a quarter thought that writing and sending text messages was the most dangerous activity they could engage in behind the wheel while about 29 percent thought that driving under the influence was the most dangerous. When it came to viewing social media or posting on it, only 6 percent named it the most dangerous.

The National Safety Council found that in a study of 2,400 drivers of all ages, around one-third of participants said they would use each Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. Almost 75 percent said they would use Facebook while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributes eight deaths and 1,000 injuries per day to distracted driving, but the president of the National Safety Council said that is most likely an underestimate. The data depends in part on self-reporting, and people may be reluctant to admit they were using their phones after an accident.

If a person is injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the motorist might not be charged with a crime. However, the injured victim may still want to file a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer seeking compensation from the at-fault party. This may be necessary if the insurance company does not offer enough money to cover medical expenses and other losses incurred as a result of the injuries.

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