Risk Institute provides insight on distracted driving trends

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Residents of Texas should know that a nationwide effort by The Risk Institute at Ohio State University is underway to study and reduce distracted driving. It has enlisted the help of companies, researchers and government entities. In coordination with the observance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is every April, The Risk Institute has released the findings of some of its studies.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month was started by the National Safety Council as a way to help motorists recognize the danger of distracted driving. Every year in the US, distracted driving crashes lead to 9 fatalities and 100 cases of injury. Use of cell phones and in-vehicle technology like dashboard touchscreens and voice command is behind many of these accidents.

The Risk Institute has studied driver behaviors and explored the ways that drivers may be encouraged to develop good habits. One of these methods is to give insurance discounts to safe drivers. Researchers concluded that drivers are more likely to act in risky and distracted ways when they are confident of their driving skills.

Another study analyzed the way that road conditions influence distracted driving crash rates. The rate is higher in urbanized areas than rural ones. The longer the road and the more lanes it has, the higher the rate. Medians and shoulders with asphalt pavement do reduce the rate.

Under car accident law, victims of a negligent driver can be reimbursed for their losses, which can range from medical expenses to the income they lose as they recover from their injuries. Distracted driving is a form of negligence but can be hard to prove since drivers can lie about their actions prior to a crash. If a cell phone was involved, though, a lawyer, through a third-party investigator, may obtain phone records. Victims may want legal counsel for this and other reasons.

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