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Risk Institute provides new research on distracted driving

The National Safety Council has designated every April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the reason is clear. According to the NSC, distracted driving crashes kill around nine people and injure 100 more every day. The proliferation of smartphones and in-vehicle technology, such as dashboard touchscreens and voice command features, is making many drivers in New Jersey and across the U.S. more distracted behind the wheel.

For April 2019, the Risk Institute at The Ohio State University has put forward some new research that sheds light on the factors behind distracted driving. One study focused on driver behaviors and how to dissuade drivers from developing bad habits. For example, offering insurance discounts for safe drivers could be an effective method. However, the study found that the more confident drivers are, the more likely they are to drive distracted.

Another study, analyzing the records of 1.4 million crashes that occurred in Ohio from 2013 to 2017, found that urbanized areas are at a higher risk for distracted driving crashes than rural regions. Furthermore, roads with a median or with paved shoulders saw fewer crashes. Road length, the number of lanes and the location all impacted the rate of crashes. As for crash severity, researchers discovered that roundabouts do have a positive effect, especially in distracted driving crashes.

A distracted driver is a negligent driver. Someone who has been hurt by a negligent driver may want to take legal action. However, filing a claim against the driver's auto insurance company could be easier with the help of a personal injury attorney.

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