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How many accidents happen because of texting or cellphones?

Most people understand that taking their attention off the road is dangerous. They know that looking away could cause an accident. Despite that, there are so many distractions and things going on in people's lives that they may ignore the danger. They decide to text behind the wheel, and they put themselves and others at risk of an accident.

Nine people are killed every day because of accidents involving distractions such as eating behind the wheel, texting or using a cellphone. It's believed that one in four collisions can be linked to cellphone use. In 2013, 341,000 crashes involved texting in some form.

With texting so obviously dangerous, it's painful to realize that people still do it. Instead of pulling over and taking a call, waiting to use a phone until they get home or ignoring alerts that people are sending them messages, they reach down, pick up their phones and communicate with others. During that short act, they take their eyes off the roads long enough to potentially cause an accident. They could rear-end another vehicle, fail to see a hazard in the roadway or go off the road completely.

Using a cellphone increases the risk of a crash by four percent. It's considered safe to take your eyes off the road for two seconds or less, but texting on a cellphone takes them off the road for an average of five. By the time you look up, it could be too late to prevent a crash and result in liability for a collision.

If you're hit by another driver who was obviously using a phone at the time of the crash, make sure you discuss this with the police. Texting is extremely dangerous, and the driver has to be held accountable.

Source: Huffington Post, "10 Statistics That Capture The Dangers of Texting and Driving," Erin Schumaker, accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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