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4 to 5 seconds of distraction can cause fatal car accidents

According to MODOT, distracted driving contributes significantly to the injuries and deaths that occur on Missouri roads. It is reported that eight in every 10 car accidents involved some distractions. Although 90 percent of Missouri residents reportedly recognize the dangers of texting and driving, 71 percent of the subjects of the study indicated they continue to use mobile devices while driving.

Authorities say the fact that Missouri does not outright ban texting while driving may influence the number of drivers distracted by smartphones and other devices. However, a police official said that many distractions can cause accidents, and reported that only 13 percent of crashes following distractions involved mobile devices. Also, it was noted that records may be inaccurate, because only when officers at accident scenes can prove that drivers were using mobile devices at the time of the crash can they indicate that on accident reports.

The officer explained that a moment's distraction can cause someone's death. He said that traveling at 55 mph, a vehicle covers a distance equal to a football field's length in a matter of four to five seconds. This is often the time it takes to read or type a quick text or even to retrieve something from the floor or the back seat. Being in any way distracted for seconds can have devastating consequences.

Missouri residents who have had to cope with injuries or the loss of loved ones after car accidents that were caused by distracted drivers will know of the devastation that results from it. Injured victims -- or surviving family members of deceased victims -- retain the right to pursue financial relief by filing personal injury and/or wrongful death claims in a civil court. The court will adjudicate all documented emotional and financial losses once negligence on the part of another person is established.

Source: kspr.com, "Crime in Your Neighborhood: Inattentive driving makes for dangerous roads", Justin Corr, May 2, 2016

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