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Deadly Collisions on the Rise, Is Distracted Driving to Blame?

Distracted driving continues to expose drivers, passengers, cyclists and motorcycle riders to major risks daily. And while law enforcement agencies and other organizations have been working tirelessly to help make drivers aware of the risks, they are still very real.

With that in mind, reports concerning the rise in the number of deadly crashes is prompting safety advocates to ask if distracted driving and the rise in the number of deadly accidents are somehow related.

According to a series of reports, the number of deadly auto crashes has increased 8 percent nationwide last year, making this a historical increase. But records could be broken once again considering that during the first six months of 2016, fatalities are up 9 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Recently, smartphone uses became widely interested in an augmented reality game known as Pokemon Go. And as reports on accidents involving Pokemon Go players hit the news, individuals begin to question whether lawmakers should change the rules to make sure drivers are not playing a game while behind the wheel.

To experts, these signs prove that things will get much worse before they get better.

According to a member of the Safety Council, drivers are now more likely to use their phones to text, email, or stay connected. Talking over the phone is not as common anymore, making some distracted driving laws difficult to enforce.

F this year’s trend continues and more traffic deaths are reported, the tally could reach the 40,000 mark.

In the 1970s, the annual rate of deadly crashes was at about 55,000. As safety features such as air bags were added to newer vehicles, the number of deaths lowered considerably.

What’s left for us to consider is just how serious the distracted driving epidemic is. Should lawmakers do more to help curb this trend or should educational efforts be put in place to remind drivers that only attention and focus on the road can help them to avoid crashes?

For more on how distracted driving may be influencing how safely—or not—people drive, follow this link.

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