Do teen drivers distinguish between different types of smartphone use? According to one commentator, distracted driving may be viewed as a slippery slope, rather than a bright line. When asked about the most dangerous or distracting driving behavior in a Liberty Mutual poll, the top two responses were drunk driving and texting and driving, at 29 and 25 percent, respectively. Using social media while driving came in at only around 6 percent.

Teenage drivers may be an obvious target group of distracted driving safety campaigns. Unfortunately, the problem is not limited to this age group. According to another safety poll, conducted by the National Safety Council on 2,400 drivers of all ages, nearly three-quarters admitted to using Facebook behind the wheel.

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Unfortunately, distracted driving has become so ubiquitous that 46 American states now have laws against texting behind the wheel. Even carriers have gotten involved, such as AT&T’s “It Can Wait” advertisements. To make matters worse, the injuries caused by distracted driving may be underreported. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that over 1,000 crashes occur every day due to distracted drivers, including about eight fatalities. The data defines distracted driving to include several different activities besides cell phone use, such as eating behind the wheel.

One commentator speculates that the number of distracted driving crashes might actually much higher than current data reflects. The discrepancy may be due to some difficulty in proving a distraction as a cause of motor vehicle accidents. That’s where the work of a skilled personal injury attorney begins. An attorney can subpoena phone records, consult with accident reconstruction experts, utilize investigators and gather all available evidence to build a strong case of negligence.

Source: CNN, “Driving While Distracted: It’s not just texting anymore,” Kelly Wallace, Aug. 2, 2016

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