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Driving defensively to combat distracted driving

California motorists should be careful of distracted drivers while on the road. From 2014 to 2015, the number of traffic fatalities increased after several years of decline. According to estimates for 2016, more people were killed on the nation's highways in any year since 2008.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of the 2015 traffic fatalities that were attributed to human decisions and were caused by distracted driving had a higher percentage increase that the fatalities that were the result of drowsy driving, drunk driving, failing to use a seat belt or speeding. There is also research that shows many people consider distracted drivers as a more serious threat to their safety than drunk drivers.

Organizations are taking steps to spread awareness of distracted driving during April, Distracted Driving Awareness Month. For example, the staff at EndDD.org is instructing businesses and schools on how to protect themselves and their loved ones from distracted driving, and defensive driving is being suggested as a method to accomplish this.

Defensive driving entails anticipating the mistakes and other unexpected actions of other drivers and being ready to address the mistakes to avoid vehicle accidents. According to a paper regarding distracted driving, this requires mindful drivers to take part in a series of mental tasks, which include assessing for possible threats, determining the origin of the threats, recognizing them and deciding which actions should be taken.

Individuals who have been injured in car crashes caused by another motorist who was distracted by looking at text messages may want to have legal assistance in pursuing compensation for their losses. An attorney could demonstrate the negligence of that driver through a review of cellphone records.

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