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How to avoid distractions on the road

A recent survey found that 52 percent of drivers with smartphones have used their devices while on the road. Smartphone use is a major factor in distracted driving, which may in turn be a cause behind the recent increase in traffic deaths -- a trend that can be seen in Mississippi and across the U.S.

While iPhones and Android devices are equipped with features meant to prevent distractions, such as modes that block alerts to incoming calls and texts, this may not be enough. For starters, these features are voluntary. Even if users don't send texts or emails, they can still surf the internet, play music and watch videos on their smartphones.

Safety advocates simply advise that drivers keep their eyes on the roads and their hands on the steering wheel. If a motorist can't put their phone away, they should pair it with a Bluetooth device. This will allow for hands-free communication.

Smartphones are not the only distraction for drivers. In-car infotainment systems and temperature controls can take attention off the road. Even voice command features may distract if they require the driver to turn or bend down to the device. To prevent crashes, automakers are starting to install technologies like automatic emergency braking systems, lane departure warning systems and collision warning systems.

When a car accident victim realizes that the at-fault driver was distracted, they could see a lawyer about how to be compensated for their injuries. A lawyer may start by negotiating for an informal settlement with the driver's insurance company. If the company refuses to pay out, the lawyer might advise the victim to file a lawsuit. Personal injury lawyers usually have a team of investigators who can bring together all the evidence showing a driver's guilt.

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