Distracted driving is a term that most New York residents have heard of. It refers to people attempting to multitask with driving and engaging in any number of activities, including eating, texting, talking on a cellphone or to a passenger, messing with electronic equipment or reading a map.

Distracted driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injury accidents. Of all of the distracting activities, the act of texting while driving is the most alarming, and it is against the law in most states. A person who is sending text messages must devote cognitive, manual and visual attention to it, taking all of those forms of attention away from the road. A person who looks down at a cellphone while driving has their eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds, enough time for the vehicle to travel the distance of a football field at 55 m.p.h.

At any moment of the day, around 660,000 U.S. people are using their cellphones while they are driving, placing both themselves and others at risk. The type of attention required by texting has been shown to increase the likelihood of accident involvement by three times. In a survey, 25 percent of teens admit to answering at least one message while they are driving, while 20 percent of both teens and adults admit to engaging in ongoing text conversations while they are driving.

Occasionally, the news will feature stories about a person text messaging while driving, then causing a serious accident. People still continue to drive and text, however. Those who are seriously injured in a car accident due to a distracted driver may be able to hold the driver civilly liable through a personal injury lawsuit.

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