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Driving defensively to avoid a distracted driving crash

Although it is likely that West Virginia motorists are aware of distracted driving, they may not realize how much of a problem it has become. In fact, several studies have shown that distracted driving may actually be more dangerous than drunk driving. As such, it is important that people understand the risks of distracted driving and make efforts to drive safely at all times.

Although the number of traffic fatalities had been declining since 2007, the trend reversed from 2014 to 2015. The estimates for 2016 suggest that the number of traffic fatalities only continued to increase. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that, for the fatalities that occurred in 2015, those that could be attributed to what it calls "human choice" had the largest increase when compared with accidents caused by drunk driving, drowsy driving or speeding.

Due to the increase in distracted driving, it is recommended that people learn how to drive defensively. This means remaining aware of potentially hazards, such as drivers and pedestrians who are using their smartphones. For example, if motorists have a green light, they should still be prepared to stop in the event that a distracted driver fails to stop at a red light or if a distracted pedestrian steps out into the street.

People who are injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was distracted by a cellphone or other device might have to face months of expensive medical treatment and rehabilitation during which they are unable to return to work. They might want to have a lawyer's assistance when seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist for these and other losses.

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