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Some of the consequences of distracted driving

While most Californians realize that it's dangerous to drive while distracted, they might be surprised to learn how deadly it can be. According to the National Safety Council, roughly nine people die every day in the U.S. because of distracted driving. About 100 people are injured in vehicle crashes every day because of the same problem.

Driving distracted can also be quite expensive. Each year, society pays $40 million for distracted driving accidents, which is almost as much as society pays for DUIs, which is at $44 million a year. Despite the deaths, injuries and costs associated with distracted driving, people still drive while using their cell phones, playing with pets, disciplining their children, eating and putting on their makeup. A 2016 study found that 60% of respondents used their cell phones at least one time while behind the wheel.

Automakers and engineers are looking for ways to combat the problems caused by distracted driving. Artificial intelligence is being used to identify patterns that indicate drivers are distracted and then alert them to the danger. Besides using alerts, engineers are looking at ways to provide other clues so that drivers do not view alerts as white noise, such as when car alarms go off on busy streets.

If efforts from engineers and automakers are successful, artificial intelligence safety systems may be required in new vehicles in the future. Some safety systems, including forward-collision warning systems and autonomous emergency braking systems, are already being required in the new vehicles by the end of 2020.

The unfortunate reality is that car crashes can seriously alter the lives of those involved. Someone who has been hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver may wish to speak with an attorney. A personal injury attorney could examine the case and help the victim receive compensation for their injuries.

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