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A two-second distraction is all it takes to cause a car accident

Distracted driving is a serious issue in Louisiana and nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the chance of a motor vehicle accident doubles if a motorist takes stops paying attention to the road for more than two seconds. The agency reports that in 2016, distracted driving played a role in over 9 percent of traffic fatalities in the nation.

Some states are trying to prevent distracted driving by making it illegal to use hand-held devices behind the wheel, unless the device is connected to a screen built into the vehicle or the motorist is using voice commands. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that these measures may not be enough to prevent auto accidents due to distracted driving.

The NHTSA and the Auto Alliance have come up with guidelines that automakers can follow to address the issue of distracted driving. For example, screens should not be obstructive and the controls on the vehicle’s screens should use internationally known symbols. In addition, the vehicles should disable information that is not related to operating the vehicle while the vehicle is being driven.

While some automakers are taking steps to design their vehicles in ways that reduce the chances of distracted driving, the fact of the matter is that some motorists will still engage in behaviors that take their hands, eyes and mind off the task of driving. When this happens, they can cause car accidents that cause innocent people to suffer injuries, or even result in fatalities.

People injured due to the actions of a distracted driver may want to determine what their legal options are for pursuing compensation. A lawsuit may not only provide the victims with the financial resources they need to recover from the crash, but also can be a way to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions.