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New research provided for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month so that residents of Georgia and across the U.S. may recognize the dangers of that behavior. This year, the Risk Institute at The Ohio State University provided research on various factors behind the growing trend of being distracted behind the wheel.

For example, researchers studied driver behavior and how certain incentives, such as insurance discounts, can be effective in promoting good behaviors. They found that the more confident drivers are, the more likely they will engage in distracted or other risky activities on the road.

After analyzing 1.4 million crash records in Ohio from 2013 to 2017, the Risk Institute found that urban areas had a much higher risk of distraction-related motor vehicle crashes than rural regions. The frequency of such crashes can go up depending on how long the roadway segment is, where it is located and how many lanes there are. Roads with a median or a paved shoulder saw fewer distracted driving crashes. Roundabouts reduced overall crash severity.

The institute is also coordinating a nationwide initiative with dozens of companies, government entities, and researchers to use the latest research to combat the epidemic. Every day in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council, an average of about nine people die and 100 are injured in crashes involving distractions like phones and in-vehicle technologies.

Those who are injured in a car accident and who find out the other driver was distracted may be able to file a personal injury claim. Distracted driving is, after all, a form of negligence. Filing a claim against an insurance company is a major undertaking, though, so victims may want a lawyer by their side. The lawyer may hire investigators to gather whatever proof there is, such as the defendant’s phone records, before proceeding to negotiations.