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Are sharing a Louisiana road with a distracted driver?

Like most roadways in Louisiana and throughout the nation, your typical routes of travel may be traffic-laden and quite dangerous at times. However, potential hazards are not always immediately apparent. For instance, how are you to know that the driver in a vehicle nearby is daydreaming about the date he had the night before rather than focusing on driving his car? Being lost in thought is one of the most frequently reported driving distractions.  

You may be alert and cautious behind the wheel. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to react quickly and safely enough if a distracted driver crosses your path. Distracted drivers cause thousands of people injuries in motor vehicle collisions every year. In worst cases, such incidents result in fatalities. If you know how to recognize signs of possible distracted driving, you may be able to avoid disaster. If, by chance, a distracted driver hits you and you suffer injury, it's also good to know where to seek support.  

Three main types of distraction 

If you answer yes when someone asks if you've ever been distracted while driving, you definitely would not be the only motorist in Louisiana to do so. However, all who drive are obligated to adhere to traffic signs and safety regulations. There are physical, emotional and cognitive distractions that can place your life and those around you at great risk for injury.  

Physical distractions include things like eating while driving, texting or using other electronic devices, or even reaching to the floor of your vehicle to get something. Emotional distractions may involve learning sad news while you're driving or arguing with a passenger in your vehicle. There are numerous types of cognitive distractions as well, such as multitasking by using technology to participate in a business meeting while driving.  

Physiological changes occur when distracted 

Studies show that your heart rate may increase, and other physiological changes may occur if you are distracted at the wheel. Some people even perspire more or experience significant changes in their breathing patterns if something or someone distracts them while they are driving.  

When the worst happens  

If you witness another motorist exhibiting possible distracted driving behaviors and are able to distance yourself from the vehicle, that's great; in fact, it may save your life. If a distracted driver hits you, and you or your loved one suffer injury, it is critical that you obtain immediate medical attention. There are also strong support systems in place to guide you through recovery and to help you seek justice against the driver who was negligent.

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