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Distracted driving can lead to preventable and serious crashes

Drivers who don't keep their focus on the road are a danger to everyone on the road with them. This is one of the primary reasons why many states have enacted laws against distracted driving.

For the victims of distracted driving crashes, the focus is usually healing from the injuries they suffer. This can come at a high cost to these individuals, with considerable expenses. Here are some points that everyone should remember about distracted driving.

Scope of the issue

It is estimated that upwards of 16 percent of deadly crashes are caused by distractions. This translates to around 5,000 deaths each year that could have been prevented if drivers would have paid exclusive attention to their driving duties.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that distracted driving crashes injured 391,000 people in 2015. Each of these people had to deal with injuries that were only present because a driver thought that other activities were more important than remaining safe on the road.

Impacts of distractions

Not all distractions are created equally, but they can all lead to the same devastating accidents. There are three ways that distractions can impact a driver -- cognitive, visual and physical. In some cases, such as texting while driving, all three of these impacts occur.

Cognitive impacts refer to the driver's attention and thought process. Instead of being able to think about driving and processing ways to respond to obstacles, the driver's attention is on the other task. Even being deep in thought can be a cognitive distraction.

Visual impacts are those that require the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. Trying to read a GPS screen or looking at what song is on the stereo are examples of visual distractions.

Physical impacts are ones that take your hands off the wheel or your feet off the pedals. Trying to eat a sandwich while you drive is a physical distraction.

Victims can suffer greatly

The victims of distracted driving crashes can suffer greatly. They might be injured and require medical care. In some cases, the injuries can lead to lifelong problems that require extensive care and accommodations. Some victims might have to remain home from work while they go through the treatment and healing process. This means that the distracted driving crash has impacted them physically and financially. All of that likely comes with a great emotional toll, too. Seek compensation for the crash is a prudent course of action.

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