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The dangers of engaging in social media while driving

With the ability to communicate via cellphone on social media platforms, there is an ever-growing enticement for West Virginia motorists to engage in these distractions while behind the wheel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that on a daily basis around the country, more than a thousand individuals are hurt and eight die because of a car accident caused by a distracted driver.

Close to 70 percent of teenagers surveyed admitted using apps while operating a vehicle, and when they were asked which behavior they thought was most dangerous to do while driving, nearly 30 percent said it was being drunk, and only 6 percent said it was being involved in social media. In another survey, nearly three-fourths of drivers of various ages said they used Facebook when driving, and more than two-thirds stated they used Twitter as they drove. More than a third of the drivers admitted to using YouTube, and 33 percent said they used Instagram. In response to the findings, the president of the National Safety Council said that most people do not understand the serious dangers these distractions pose.

In fact, when a driver reads just one text message, his or her car travels the length of a football field. Doing so also increases that driver's chances of having a wreck by six times or more, according to a university study.

Distracted driving, whether it involves texting on a social media site, eating a sandwich or talking on a cellphone, can result in a car accident that seriously injures other people. Those who believe their car crash-related injuries were caused by a negligent driver might wish to contact a personal injury attorney to learn how best to seek compensation for their losses.

Source: CNN, "Driving While Distracted: It's not just texting anymore", Kelly Wallace, Aug. 2, 2016

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