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NSC targets distracted driving in April campaign

California residents have likely heard that sophisticated automobile technology has the potential to one day all but eliminate traffic accidents, but a growing number of experts are claiming that the electronic information and entertainment systems that most modern vehicles come packed with could actually make the roads more dangerous. Multitasking has become normal behavior for many Americans, but dealing with phone calls, text messages and other distractions while behind the wheel causes thousands of accidents every year.

The National Safety Council is acutely aware of this problem, and the organization has designated April as the Distracted Driving Awareness Month. One of the chief goals of the initiative is to convey to motorists the dangers of using distracting automobile technology, which, surveys have found, most drivers assume is safe. The NSC will be providing free resources including posters, infographics and videos during the month-long campaign.

Cellphone use is a factor in a great many distracted driving accidents, but no states have passed legislation totally outlawing the use of mobile electronic devices by drivers. The NSC hopes that the private sector can step in to fill this legislative gap. Employers thinking about implementing a cellphone policy for company vehicles can download a free information kit from the NSC website. The kit includes a sample policy, communications materials and a list of frequently asked questions.

Motorists who cause serious motor vehicle accidents rarely admit that they acted negligently, and personal injury attorneys may sometimes conduct their own inquiries when police reports and witness statements are inconclusive. These efforts may include canvassing the accident scene for witnesses that could have been overlooked by law enforcement and checking security cameras in the vicinity that may have captured the events on film. Attorneys could also seek to obtain a driver's cellphone records in order to see whether the phone was being used right before the crash.

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