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Top risks for distraction while driving

Virginia drivers who drive while drowsy, with children in the car, while using a cellphone or while angry may be more likely to have an accident. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have looked into each of those causes and some possible solutions.

It is conservatively estimated that more than one in five deadly motor vehicle accidents involves drowsy driving. Drivers who sleep just four to five hours a night are at least five times more likely to get in an accident compared to those who sleep seven or more. A nap is the best solution for drowsy drivers.

Before going anywhere with children in the car, parents should try to make sure they have everything they need so that they are less likely to be distracted. One study found that suburban parents are more likely to use their cellphones while driving than rural parents. Texting is one of the most dangerous activities, but any activities involving a cellphone take a person's attention away from the road. Experts suggest putting phones out of reach to avoid temptation.

Aggressive driving, including speeding, is also the cause of a number of accidents each year. People should try to give themselves ample time to get to their destination and remain calm while behind the wheel.

Passengers and other drivers may be seriously injured in accidents involving drivers who are distracted by fatigue, others in the car, phones or their emotions. Drivers who cause these types of accidents may be financially liable for the expenses of injured drivers such as medical costs. A person who is seriously injured may also lose income from missing work. If the driver's insurance company does not cover those costs adequately, the injured person might seek compensation by filing a lawsuit.

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Becker, Kellogg & Berry, P.C. - Fairfax Personal Injury Lawyer

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