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Putnam Lieb Potvin Dailey

Distracted drivers taking pictures of crashes cause crashes

Much has been said about the dangers of distracted driving and how texting and driving is emerging as the most common cause of distracted driving accidents. However, new research is pointing to another cause of distracted driving accidents-documenting a car accident as driving by it.

According to the National Safety Council, 71% of drivers confessed to taking a picture of a car accident as they drove by it and texting it to friends. That is almost three times the 24% of drivers who reported texting and driving under normal conditions. While 60% of people are posting about crashes on social media, two-thirds have also admitted to emailing about it. As Olympia residents can imagine, the results of this distraction is deadly, as there are more vehicles on the road at the time and more chances of causing a tragic scenario.

Forty first responders died last year at accident scenes, up 40% from the year before. Sixteen percent of drivers have admitted they either struck or were about to strike a first responder on the roadside. Already this year, 21 have died, including 10 police officers. Though every state has a move-over law-a law that requires drivers to move over to first responders have space to complete their duties-officers say they have seen drivers lean out of windows to take pictures and most often ignore the law.

When someone becomes injured in a car accident, he or she is likely to suffer property damage or personal injury that can have a significant impact on their life. Depending on the circumstances that led up to the accident victim's car accident, it might be possible to pursue either a personal injury or workers' compensation suit.

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