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Despite new phone laws, distracted drivers increasing

Thirty percent of states in the United States ban hand-held cell phone use while driving, and 94 percent of the states, including North Carolina, ban texting while driving. Despite all of the legislation aimed at preventing distracted driving, studies show that phone use while driving is continuing to increase. This increase is evident in both how often drivers use their cell phones and the duration of time in which the phones are used.

The study, performed by researchers at Zendrive, found that approximately 69 million drivers use their cell phone when they drive. When comparing results to 2017’s study, researchers found that the average length of cell phone use increased by 10 seconds per episode to three minutes and 40 seconds per hour.

The National Safety Council considers cell phone use to be a factor in the increase in automobile-related deaths. In 2017, over 40,000 people died as a result of a motor vehicle accident. In order to prevent this number from continuing to rise, authorities are cracking down on upholding cell phone driving laws.

Victims or families of motor vehicle accident victims may choose to file a civil claim for personal injury or wrongful death on behalf of the victim. In order to get a settlement for a victim or family, a lawyer might have to prove that the other driver was negligent in his or her behavior. This can be proven via cell phone records, witness accounts and traffic cameras. Many cases are settled pretrial, but some cases of personal injury or wrongful death do go to trial. In the case of a motor vehicle accident that allegedly occurred due to cell phone use, a lawyer might file a civil suit, gather and present evidence that proves negligence and negotiate a settlement to cover the costs of medical care, pain and suffering and loss of wages.

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