Driving While Distracted Proves Costly

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In recent years, hand-held communication devices have gone from a convenience to a necessity. As these devices have become more affordable and sophisticated, users have enjoyed the ability to communicate via text message and email from virtually anywhere. Among professionals, the use of hand-held communication devices has become the norm.

Unfortunately however, the popularity of these advanced cell phones has led to the proliferation of accidents resulting from their use while driving. It should come as no surprise that a person is more likely to be involved in an accident while reading or sending a text message or email. What may be surprising is just how dangerous cell phone use while driving actually is. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction is the leading factor in most crashes. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of distraction. In Kentucky in 2009, there were over 57,000 crashes resulting in over 16,000 injuries and 217 fatalities due to distracted driving. Further, in 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit cited studies which had found that text messaging increased a driver's risk of collision by 23 times.

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