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Being lost in thought can be dangerous while driving

Driving on Pennsylvania roads while daydreaming can be more dangerous than doing so while on a smartphone. Erie Insurance analyzed 172,000 traffic deaths over the past five years using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Of those deaths, roughly 10 percent were victims of distracted drivers. The data further revealed that 61 percent of distracted driving accidents occurred because one driver was simply lost in thought.

While self-driving cars will eventually take over, the transition to such technology could result in more distracted driving. Those who drive a Tesla or other cars that have autonomous driving features may be even more prone to complacency than other drivers. Companies like General Motors envision using eye-tracking software to ensure individuals stay alert while a car is in autonomous mode. However, the best advice may be to pay attention even if it can be difficult to do so while performing such a monotonous task.

An individual who is not paying full attention to the road is generally considered to be a distracted driver. This is true whether that person is using a cellphone or is simply thinking about what to do after work. When car accidents occur because drivers were distracted, they may be deemed liable for any damages injured victims incur.

Car accident victims could include other drivers, passengers or pedestrians. Those who are riding with a distracted driver might also be entitled to damages if they are hurt in a crash. Evidence such as driver statements, witness statements and video taken of the collision could prove negligence caused a wreck to happen. Victims might be entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings. Compensation may be obtained through a negotiated settlement or from a jury.

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