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April is a great time to take action against distracted driving

April 1 marked the beginning of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As the name implies, this month is dedicated to bringing to the attention of motorists in Louisiana and across the country the serious problems associated with the ongoing distracted driving epidemic.

According to statistics, many people are profoundly affected by distracted drivers on a daily basis. One analysis concluded that each day, 9 people die and 100 people suffer significant physical injuries because of a distracted driver. This translates in to 36,500 injuries and 3,285 fatalities annually.

While a lot of Houma residents associate distracted driving with handheld phones, other technology can create distractions that lead to car accidents as well. Even so-called hands-free technology is not completely safe, as it can still pull a person’s eyes from the road and his or her mind from driving.

In connection with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, one research group announced that it had conducted a couple of studies aimed to find possible solutions for preventing distracted driving. Thus far, despite existing law enforcement and public awareness measures, the problem does not seem to be getting better.

The studies came up with a couple of suggestions. For one, in urban areas, the design of the roads and streets may play a role in reducing distracted driving. For instance, using roundabouts in lieu of conventional intersections helped curb the consequences of distracted driving. Another suggestion was that insurance companies could use modern technology to identify distracted drivers in real time and raise the drivers’ premiums accordingly.

After an accident, though, perhaps the best thing a victim in the Houma area can do is file a personal injury lawsuit against the distracted driver. Not only will doing so help the victim cover his or her costs, it also can send a message that distracted driving is simply unacceptable.