Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

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Driven to distraction

Anyone who drives on Charlotte's streets and highways knows that distracted driving is a growing problem. It sometimes seems as half of the drivers you see are calling the other half.

Unfortunately, those drivers who are paying more attention to their phones than the streets, traffic signs and other vehicles are often the cause of crashes that result in serious injuries or fatalities.

The New York Times points out that when distracted driving accidents first began to be observed about a decade ago, the focus was on drivers who were talking or texting. Today, the focus has shifted to include folks who do much more than talk or text, including those who watch videos, play games, stream themselves, send Snapchat images of their driving, share traffic information on Waze, and much, much more.

The result of all the distractions: highway fatalities are rising dramatically. The Times reports that we experienced our largest annual percentage increase in fatalities last year, and that highway deaths in the first six months of 2016 are up more than 10 over the record-breaking 2015.

Insurance companies say they are alarmed by the surge in distracted driving accidents. A senior vice president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America says the industry is convinced that increased electronics usage (both handheld devices and preinstalled, in-dash devices) are pushing injuries and deaths ever higher.

He told the Times that "this is a serious public safety concern for the nation," adding that insurers are "trying to figure out to what extent this is the new normal."

For Charlotte area residents injured in car accidents caused by distracted driving, a personal injury attorney can help you find justice and compensation for your damages.

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