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As the number of cell phone users continues to rise, so does the number of distracted driving accidents. In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Bridgeport, Connecticut is no exception. In fact, distracted driving accidents are on the rise in the city. From 2013 to 2015, there was a total of 9 distracted driving accidents reported. 3 of those were fatal and 6 resulted in injuries.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. There are 3 types of distraction:

Cognitive: Taking your mind off of driving

Visual: Taking your eyes off the road

Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel

Texting is the most common type of distracted driving. It combines all 3 types of distraction, which makes it especially dangerous.

Why is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?

When you’re driving, you need to be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Distracted driving takes your focus off the road,

Cell phone use, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using a navigation system, and adjusting a radio or music player are all examples of distracted driving.

No matter how experienced of a driver you are, distracted driving is dangerous and puts yourself and others at risk.

What Are the Consequences of Distracted Driving?

The consequences of distracted driving can be serious, or even deadly. In addition to the risks posed to yourself, you could also face legal consequences if you’re caught driving while distracted.

In Connecticut, it is against the law to text while driving. If you’re caught texting, you could be fined up to $500. You could also be fined for other activities that constitute distracted driving, such as using a hand-held cell phone or operating a vehicle without a hands-free device.

If you’re involved in an accident while driving distracted, you could be held liable. This means that you could be sued by the other party involved in the accident. If the other party is injured, you could be responsible for their medical bills. If they’re killed, you could be charged with vehicular homicide.

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