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Focus on distracted driving resulting in driver negligence

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. A campaign called "U Drive. U Text. U Pay." has been announced by the U.S. Transportation Secretary. In Tennessee and other jurisdictions enforcement efforts will focus on drivers who are using mobile devices while driving. The need for the campaign to address driver negligence, such as texting while driving, is an attempt to curb accidents caused by distracted driving.

Between April 10 and 15, drivers using their mobile devices can expect to receive a ticket from law enforcement authorities. At the same time, an advertising campaign will be launched, focused on reminding drivers of the dangers of distracted driving. The advertising campaign has cost the government $5 million.

In 2013, the death of approximately 3,154 people could be attributed to distracted driving. In the same year, approximately 424,000 people were injured in accidents attributed to some form of driver distraction. According to the Transportation Secretary, there is no excuse for distracted driving and something must be done to stop it.

The price of a ticket is what it may cost a driver who texts while driving, but it may cost so much more -- perhaps even a life. In a fatal accident where driver negligence due to distracted driving was a contributing factor, the legal estate of a deceased victim may choose to file a wrongful death claim against the driver deemed negligent, while a seriously injured victim may elect to file a personal injury claim. A successfully litigated claim in Tennessee may assist the family of a  deceased loved one or an injured victim to meet unexpected expenses and other quantifiable financial losses arising from the accident.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Distracted Driving Campaign Focuses on Young Drivers", April 7, 2015

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