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Distracted driving can result in wrongful death lawsuits

Distracted driving has become an increasingly dangerous contributor to deadly accidents on Wisconsin roads and elsewhere around the nation. It may be defined as any activity that takes a motorist's attention away from driving safely. Unfortunately, it only takes a few seconds of distraction before an accident may occur. As the number of fatalities from distracted driving behaviors increase, the number of wrongful death claims is likely to follow.

Safety officials hope to create awareness of the dangers of distracted driving much like the focus drunk driving received years ago. So many drivers text while behind the wheel and this creates an extremely dangerous scenario. Statistics show that it takes roughly 4.5 seconds to send or read a text. If someone is traveling at 55 mph, his or her eyes would be off the road for approximately the length of a football field.

Studies show that around one-third of drivers send or read texts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safety advocates acknowledge that there is no stigma associated with distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are 400,000 injuries and nearly 3,500 deaths due to distractions behind the wheel.

There is also very little consistency when prosecuting offenders of distracted driving. One of the cases cited involves an accident that occurred near La Crosse in 2014. A motorist was checking Facebook and failed to stop his vehicle before running into other cars stopped ahead of him on the interstate. He killed one person and injured two others and is now serving 16 years in prison, representing one of the strictest sentences on record.

When family members lose loved ones because of the negligent behavior of another party, they may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A Wisconsin personal injury attorney can assist survivors throughout every step of the litigation process. A successful outcome in a lawsuit can provide families with compensation to defray unexpected funeral expenses and provide for additional damages as determined in court.

Source: salon.com, "What happens when a driver kills someone while on their phones?", Paul Feldman, Feb. 11, 2018

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