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New York car accident: Things to know about distracted driving

In New York and across the country, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The month is dedicated to spreading the word about what distracted driving is, the dangers of it and why paying attention when behind the wheel is so important. The simple truth is that when a car accident happens due to distracted driving, it is not uncommon for serious or even fatal injuries to be the result.

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 28 percent of all accidents are caused because of cell phone use alone. There are various other distractions, though, that are known to result in auto collisions -- such as interacting with a passenger, eating, grooming, reading or playing with the radio or navigation system. As a result of these and other activities, hundreds of thousands of individuals are injured every year, and an average of 3,000 fatalities occur.

There are three main types of distraction. These are manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions are said to occur when a person moves his or her hands away from the wheel, such as when reaching for something. Visual distractions occur when an individual looks away from the road, such as when looking elsewhere in the car or at one's electronic device. Finally, cognitive distractions occur when one's mind simply wanders from the primary task at hand.

Regardless of distraction type, if such behaviors result in a car accident, the victim of such an incident or -- in the event of fatality -- his or her surviving family members may have legal recourse. Personal injury or wrongful death claims may be filed against the individual or individual believed responsible in a New York civil court. If negligence is proved, a monetary judgment may be granted.

Source: endd.org, "Learn the Facts About Distracted Driving", Accessed on April 17, 2016

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