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Smartphone distractions and fatal traffic crashes rise in summer

Long road trips often take travelers across Nevada during the summer vacation season. Data collected by TrueMotion, a company that analyzes smartphone use, indicates that drivers increase their smartphone usage by about 10 percent during June, July and August. The company studied 20,000 drivers and determined that they were engaged with their mobile devices for about 15 minutes out of every hour during the summer months.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that people drive 20 percent more miles in the summer compared to winter. The summer months also produce a 29 percent jump in traffic deaths. Heavier traffic combined with more construction projects and pedestrians raise the potential for accidents.

In response to this data, Travelers Companies, Inc. organized the Every Second Matters initiative, which included a symposium at Capitol Hill in late spring. A research scientist said that every second a driver looks away from the road reduces their ability to react to traffic issues. Safety advocates hope to keep the spotlight on the problem of distracted driving until the public considers it as unacceptable as drunk driving or not wearing a seat belt.

Distracted drivers could cause serious accidents like head-on collisions or T-bone accidents. Someone who is texting while driving, drowsy or intoxicated could be held liable for the financial damages inflicted on accident victims. A person harmed by a negligent driver could gain support from an attorney familiar with litigating car accidents. An attorney could relieve the burdens of a person struggling with brain or catastrophic injuries by communicating with an insurance company or the court. After organizing evidence from an accident investigation, legal counsel could manage the lawsuit and settlement negotiations.

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