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Officials, family members key in on distracted driving

One of the hardest things for family members to deal with is when a fatal car accident occurs due to the negligent behavior of another. A distracted act such as texting or eating while driving can lead to a senseless death on Wisconsin roadways. That is why officials and family members of victims are trying to shine a light on the importance of concentrating on the road while driving.

Officials have set up campaigns across the country, such as their distraction.gov website in order to address the issue. Family members are raising awareness through nonprofits such as FocusDriven, which concentrates on bringing more attention to the dangers of texting while driving. According to the U.S. Transportation Department, drivers are 23 times more likely to get into an accident if they are texting and driving.

Most people have heard of tragic stories that stemmed from distracted driving. One such story involved two families driving toward each other on a highway. One car carried a mother and father and their three young children. The other car, a sport utility vehicle, was occupied by a man and woman and their 1-year-old. The man in the SUV was searching for a DVD in his vehicle when he swerved into oncoming traffic and hit the car carrying the other family. The man's wife died in the crash, as well as the couple in the other vehicle. Two young boys in the other vehicle were paralyzed as a result of the accident.

Officials point out that distracted driving does not only come from cellphone use. It can be caused by talking to a passenger, playing with the radio or scolding children in the back seat. Officials say in 2010, more than 3,000 people died in the United States in distracted-driving accidents.

Source: MySA, "Distracted driving gets attention," Michelle Koidin Jaffee, Feb. 13, 2012

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Godfrey, Leibsle,
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