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Most distracted driving deaths caused by daydreaming

Kentucky drivers know that they should never text while driving. However, they may be unaware that daydreaming while driving is actually more dangerous.

Researchers at Erie Insurance examined crash data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which collects information on U.S. car accidents. They found that over the past five years, approximately 172,000 people have died in traffic accidents. Of those deaths, around 10 percent were blamed on distracted driving. Surprisingly, most of these distracted driving fatalities did not occur because someone was texting or making a phone call. Instead, researchers found that 62 percent of all distracted driving deaths involved at least one driver who was simply daydreaming. In comparison, only 14 percent of distracted driving deaths were attributed to cellphone use of any kind.

Humans naturally tend to let their minds wander while performing mundane tasks, including while driving. As a result, automakers are starting to offer technology that can alert drivers when they become distracted. For example, Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode alerts drivers when they aren't paying attention to the road. Meanwhile, General Motors and Subaru plan to install eye-tracking software that monitors a driver's attention level when operating their vehicles in semi-autonomous mode.

People who are injured in motor vehicle accidents through no fault of their own have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. With the help of an attorney, it may be possible to prove that the at-fault driver is legally responsible for the victim's injuries. This might lead to a financial settlement that covers medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other crash-related damages.

Source: Jalopnik, "Daydreaming While Driving Is Still Much More Dangerous Than Using Your Phone While Driving," Erin Marquis, April 11, 2018

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