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Driving behaviors that increase the chances of a car accident

Connecticut motorists see examples of distracted driving on a daily basis. They see other drivers moving along, blissfully unaware that they are not paying attention to the road and traffic conditions. They may be talking on their cell phones, checking emails or even reaching for some other item in their car. Now, a new study has released information indicating exactly how dangerous some of these activities can be.

A new report from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has revealed that dialing a phone was the most dangerous distracted driving behavior and increased the chances of crashing by 12 times. This number was higher than any other behavior except for driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The Institute arrived at this conclusion after analyzing millions of miles of driving data.

The data was collected from the Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study. In the study, the driving behavior of more than 3,000 drivers was monitored with cameras and sensors that were placed in their cars, which were then able to monitor the driver's location, speed and acceleration. Researchers were also able to gather precise data on collision times for those motorists who were involved in crashes. They were also able to determine where the drivers were looking moments before they crashed.

Other significant risky behaviors included reading or writing, which increased one's risk by 10 times. This was followed by reaching for an item other than a cellphone (nine times increase) and texting (six times increase). The researchers also found that drivers were distracted in more than half of the trips they took and that distractions were involved in nearly 70 percent of the 900 crashes that took place during the course of the study.

Distracted driving is a behavior that can lead to fatal accidents. However, any Connecticut resident who has been injured due to the negligence of another driver may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to find out if there are legal avenues that can be explored.

Source: The New York Times, "Reading This While You Drive Could Increase Your Risk of Crashing Tenfold," Nicholas St. Fleur, Feb. 24, 2016

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