Understanding the factors behind distracted driving

Distracted driving is a problem on many roads in West Virginia and throughout the country. It's estimated that about nine people die in accidents that were caused by distracted drivers each day in the U.S., and approximately 100 individuals are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers daily. The financial impact of distracted drivers on society is around $40 million annually. This puts distracted driving almost on par financially with the impact caused by those who drive under the influence.

The problem of distracted driving has been addressed from a number of angles. Public service announcements and education campaigns targeted at teenage drivers and adults alike strive to drive home the seriousness of driving while distracted. Highways are full of signs reminding drivers to not text and drive or talk on their cellphone while they drive.

Still, a recent study showed that almost 50% of those interviewed admitted to sending text messages, using social media or chatting on their phone while driving. Close to 60% of people in the survey admitted to using their cellphone for something at least one time while they were driving.

In response to the serious challenges caused by driving while distracted, some auto manufacturers have started designing software and systems designed to monitor what happens inside the vehicle and alert the driver when they are driving while distracted. The software and systems use a mixture of artificial intelligence and visual intelligence.

The challenge could be creating a system that will actually cause drivers to change their behaviors. Some are concerned that visual or audible alerts will eventually be ignored by drivers. It may be necessary to create a comprehensive alert system that involves the radio, the dashboard, vibrations and other warning types.

Auto accidents caused by distracted driving can be devastating to the victims. The negligent driver may be liable and required to compensate the victim for injuries and loss property from the accident. A victim of an automobile accident involving a distracted driver might want to talk to a personal injury attorney. The attorney may be able to help their client reconstruct the events of the accident, determine liability and pursue compensation.

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