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Distracted driving: more than just texting behind the wheel

Oregon drivers know that distracted driving is a danger to every motorist and passenger on the roads and highways. The term "distracted driving" can be used to describe many different types of driving, perhaps most commonly for texting behind the wheel. However, it is possible that even some safety features, such as navigational apps, could also pose a risk for distraction.

Most people who own a smart phone will use these navigation apps at some point. Even though many of them are voice-activated and use spoken directions, the Department of Transportation has claimed that these programs may pose as big of a distraction as texting behind the wheel. This type of distraction may become more of a problem as the technology behind navigation apps improves.

Using a cell phone in this way could confuse drivers who are technically using their phones, but not actually texting. Cases in other states have challenged citations for texting when they were just using a navigation app. Oregon drivers should note that when a phone causes them to drive recklessly, swerve or endanger others, they could be pulled over. This would be regardless of the way in which they were using their phone at the time.

Distracted driving is known to cause drivers to behave behind the wheel as if they were drunk, which is the reason that any type of distraction is dangerous. If an individual is injured or killed in an accident that is related to this type of dangerous behavior, compensation could be granted through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Before initiating a civil case, it is typically best to evaluate all evidence that is related to the incident.

Source: CBS News, "Can Using Navigational Apps Be As Dangerous As Texting, Driving?", , June 27, 2014

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