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How smartphones are making roads more dangerous

Whether a North Carolina resident uses the term crash or accident to describe a collision between vehicles, smartphones may be playing a role in causing these incidents. In one 2008 fatal accident, a 20-year-old cited his smartphone as the reason why he ran a red light before colliding with another vehicle. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there were 37,262 traffic deaths in that year.

However, the fatality in that case wasn't officially listed as caused by the use of a smartphone. Despite the best efforts of the victim's mother, fatalities caused by drivers are once again on the rise. Over the past two years, there have been a 14.4 percent increase in traffic fatalities, and in 2016, more than 100 people died each day either in or close to a car. Bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists have seen the greatest increase in fatalities.

This is in spite of the fact that people aren't driving, drinking or speeding significantly more than usual. The one habit that has changed in recent years is the adoption of the smartphone. By 2016, 81 percent of Americans had an iPhone or some other type of smartphone. Furthermore, people are using their phones to check social media or send text messages as opposed to just holding a conversation.

A car accident victim who was hurt by a negligent driver may be entitled to compensation. This may make it possible to pay for medical bills or make up for lost wages or future earnings. Punitive damages may also be available depending on the circumstances of the case. If a person was killed in a car accident, the victim's family may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Employers may be liable in cases when their drivers cause an accident to occur.

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