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Distracted driving: The facts you need to know

Driving while distracted can place you and others in danger, which is why it's not only seen as dangerous but also is illegal. What is distracted driving, though? Is it just using a cellphone or texting behind the wheel?

Every day at least nine people are killed and over 1,153 are injured because of distracted driving accidents. Each of these accidents is completely preventable, which is a major concern among analysts, lawmakers and the public.

One of the most common causes of distracted driving is using a digital device, like a cellphone, to make calls or to text. There are one-touch laws, which state that you can answer a call or place one with voice-activation or a single touch of a button. These laws aim to reduce the time you look away from the road. Regardless of these changes, there are really no safe methods to using digital devices in a car, whether they're digital GPS units, cell phones, tablets or others.

What can be done about distracted driving?

First, all drivers should avoid using smartphones behind the wheel. If you absolutely must place a call or get into your emails while on the road, pull over. Never get into a vehicle with someone who is making calls when driving. It's safer to make the call yourself as a passenger than to allow them to do so.

What should you do if you're hit by a distracted driver?

Consider finding out more about your legal options. You may be able to make insurance claims or file a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: We Save Lives, "Distracted Driving," accessed Jan. 24, 2017

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