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Distracted driving accidents are the focus of Wisconsin campaign

Think about some of the things you do while you are driving. Many of the things drivers commonly do are the targets of a campaign to raise awareness of distracted driving. Activities like eating, texting, putting on makeup or checking your hair in the mirror are all activities that might contribute to a car accident.

Congress has deemed April National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is taking advantage of that designation to remind drivers that paying attention to driving is what is important when you are behind the wheel.

As part of the campaign, the DOT is sponsoring messages on the radio and television that feature a man who is the two-time LG U.S. National Texting champion. He claims in the messages that he won't text while driving despite his ability to text while doing other activities. He says texting while driving is too dangerous, and he is right. Drivers who are using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a serious car accident.

In 2011, approximately 11 percent of drivers younger than 20 who were involved in fatal accidents reported that they were distracted when the accident occurred. In 2012, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents that involved a distracted driver. Additionally, 2,238 people were killed in accidents in which a driver was distracted.

While these messages shed light on distracted driving, there will likely still be accidents caused by distracted drivers. Victims of accidents caused by distracted drivers might have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. This includes economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages, but it also includes non-economic losses for emotional trauma and loss of companionship.

Source: The Courier, "Our view: Driver distraction month" Diane Graff, Apr. 09, 2014

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