The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that in 2013, around 424,000 car accident-related injuries in New Hampshire and across the U.S. were the result of distracted driving. Distracted driving was also behind 3,154 accident-related fatalities. However, the numbers may be higher since NHTSA was only taking its data from police reports and not all distracted driving crashes are reported as such.

Multitasking is usually not a good idea, and it definitely does not mix with driving. There are three types of distractions that drivers must be aware of: cognitive, visual and manual distractions. With the first, drivers let their mind wander from the road. Conversations with passengers or simple daydreaming can constitute a cognitive distraction.

The other two are also easy to define. Visual distractions cause drivers’ eyes to leave the road. One may, for example, look down to adjust the air conditioning or look back to see that one’s children are buckled up. Manual distractions, like phones and drinks, cause drivers to take one or both hands off the wheel.

There are several ways that drivers can force themselves to avoid distractions. First, they should turn off the phone. If necessary, they could consider a hands-free device in case of emergencies. Before heading out, drivers should eat, ensure that the children are secure and set the GPS.

If drivers become careless in this matter of paying attention to the road and wind up causing motor vehicle accidents, then they can be held liable. As for victims, they can file a personal injury claim in this state so long as they are less than 51% at fault. To see what their chances are of achieving a reasonable settlement with the insurance companies, victims may consult an attorney. The attorney may negotiate on their behalf, litigating as a last resort.

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