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New research provides insight on car accident causes

Researchers, scientists and engineers often expend a great deal of effort attempting to learn how to save lives by making motor vehicles safer. Many such professionals have worked to determine car accident causes and how to prevent them. Unfortunately, some argue that even though people in Wisconsin and across the country are becoming increasingly more aware of one of the major causes of car accidents -- distracted driving -- they continue to engage in this risky behavior. Researchers attempted to shed some light on the causes of accidents in a recent study.

The study involved 3,500 volunteers and took place over the course of three years. These volunteers agreed that researchers could outfit their vehicles with devices that gave researchers access to a variety of information about the car and driver, including video of the driver's actions. As a result, researchers gained data regarding over 900 car accidents that resulted in property damage and/or injury.

Researchers claim that of these crashes, approximately 75 percent involved some sort of driver error and in over 60 percent, the driver was distracted just prior to the accident. While the usual culprits for distraction played a role -- cell phones and eating, for examples -- researchers also noticed a surprising factor that increased the chance of an accident. Emotional drivers experiencing agitation, sadness and anger, among other emotions, were more likely to be involved in an accident.

While researchers claim that the overall number of fatal car accidents in this country are decreasing, lives are still being destroyed. Many victims have suffered severe injuries resulting in medical bills and lost wages while others are coping with life without their loved ones. If negligence, including distracted driving, caused a car accident, victims have legal options to help them successfully cope with the ramifications. An experienced attorney can help Wisconsin victims better understand these options.

Source: CBS News, "The biggest distractions that cause car crashes", Randy Dotinga, Feb. 23, 2016

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