How smartphone use may make roads more dangerous

In 2008, there were 37,262 traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although traffic fatalities went down in later years, the fatality rate has increased dramatically in the past two years. In 2016, there were more than 100 people who were killed either in or near a vehicle each day. Distracted driving is among one of the most common reasons why New York residents are others are killed while on the road.

The increase in smartphone use is considered to be a major cause for distracted driving. In 2016, 81 percent of Americans owned an Android, iPhone or some other type of smartphone. In many cases, phones are used for more than just making a call. Additionally, they are used to send and receive text messages, use social media and read the news.

Those riding a motorcycle, using a bicycle or walking are more likely to be victims of distracted drivers. This is because they are harder to see compared to other vehicles, and drivers may be less likely to notice them when on a phone. While the official data indicates that only 448 deaths were caused by drivers on mobile phones in 2015, the data may be incomplete. The founder of Stopdistractions.org says that the true number may be up to three times higher than federal figures.

A driver who causes a crash may be liable for any damages that a victim incurs. For instance, an injured victim may have medical bills or lose wages because of an inability to go to work. Cell phone records or statements from a driver or witness may establish that distraction played a role in causing the crash. Cases may be settled outside of court or through a formal jury trial.

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