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Officials turn to automakers to prevent distracted driving

Earlier this month, we discussed the dangers of distracted driving. As readers may recall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nine people die on a daily basis as a result of distracted driving.

Government officials have taken steps to prevent distracted driving. Currently, 39 states, including Nebraska, prohibit people from texting and driving. However, government officials are hoping to do even more to prevent distracted driving accidents.

The federal government recently released a set of voluntary guidelines for automakers. They are encouraging them to build cars with technology features that only require drivers to take their eyes off the road for a mere two seconds. Under the guidelines, drivers would not be allowed to text message or look at Internet sites unless the car was stopped. Officials hope car manufacturers will adopt these changes over the next three years.

While these guidelines could reduce distracted driving crashes, it is also important for individual drivers in Nebraska and beyond to take precautions to minimize distracted driving. No text message or email is more important than a human life. Sadly, thousands of people die each year when drivers choose to shift their focus away from the road.

Distracted drivers who injure others in accidents may be held responsible through criminal charges and potential penalties. However, accident victims and their families may also choose to hold a reckless driver responsible through a civil lawsuit. The compensation that is obtained through a successful lawsuit cannot change the past. However, it can help alleviate financial burdens that resulted from a serious accident.

Source: CNN, "'Two second' safety guideline for cars of the future," Mike M. Ahlers, April 24, 2013

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