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Distracted driving may result in inattention blindness

Distracted driving is perhaps the most common form of negligent and dangerous driving. As cell phone and GPS usage has increased, more and more drivers have taken their eyes off the road to check for text messages, play with apps and consider their travel route. Taking one's attention of the road for only a few moments can result in tragic consequences, though, including serious injuries and death to innocent individuals. Knowing this sad fact, many drivers have attempted to cut back on distracted driving. But a recent study gives even more concern regarding the true impact of distracted driving.

According to a study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic & Safety, drivers may experience a "hangover effect" after engaging in a distracting activity. During this period of time, which can last for up to 27 seconds, motorists can have their eyes on the road, but their minds are still focused on something other than the road ahead of them. This is known as inattention blindness.

This is troubling, especially since 2016 saw more than 40,000 car accident fatalities, the most seen over the last decade. While only 52 percent of motorists owned a smartphone in 2011, that number skyrocketed to 80 by 2014. Many experts fear that the continued access to electronic devices will contribute to more inattentive blindness. Although many companies have tried to make devices that reduce distraction, the reality is that distracted driving is here to stay for the time being.

Tragically, this means that Massachusetts residents will be injured in accidents caused by negligent drivers. These victims may suffer extensive physical pain and suffering, and their finances can take quite a hit when medical expenses are exorbitant and lost wages are unable to be recouped. This is why these victims need to consider their legal options, as a successful personal injury lawsuit may bring much needed compensation while at the same time shine a light on the continued problem of distracted driving.

Source: CNBC, "Driving while distracted comes with a 'hangover' effect, AAA says," Erin Barry, March 12, 2017

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