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Using a cellphone while driving

Checking a phone while driving can be dangerous, and the dangers of texting and driving are fairly well-known as more than 40 states have laws that forbid the behavior. However, California residents should be aware that doing anything on the phone while operating a vehicle can lead to distraction.

Distracted driving involves something that takes a driver's focus from the road like talking on the phone or eating. Even when not texting, motorists might still look at Facebook, Spotify, Snapchat, Google Maps and Instagram. Another app that has been diverting attention from the road is Pokemon Go, and there have been crashes linked to the popular game that was introduced in July 2016.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 1,000 people are injured and eight are killed each day due to distracted driving. It is difficult to accurately know how many wrecks really take place due to distracted driving as proving it is not always possible if drivers or passengers do not admit anything.

While plenty of distractions exist, texting is still among the most dangerous. One study suggests that a driver is at least six times more likely to get involved in an accident when looking at just one text. Using a cellphone for various reasons is particularly common in teens as a survey of 2,500 of them revealed that almost 70 percent use apps while behind the wheel.

Car accidents caused by distracted motorists can leave passengers and others who are on the road with serious injuries requiring extensive medical care. In many cases, injured victims are unable to return to work for prolonged periods. A personal injury attorney can seek compensation for these and other losses on a victim's behalf through the filing of a lawsuit against the negligent motorist.

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