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An annual invitation to sleep: summertime distracted driving

New Yorkers wait out with maximum grace and patience each year the long slog from a seemingly unending winter to the welcome months of summer that finally arrive.

And from the very moment that sustained warmth and sunshine announces its presence, many residents seem to lose their minds.

At least behind the wheel.

Their driving inattentiveness is confirmed by more than mere anecdotal tales. A recent study jointly authored by an insurance company and smartphone data analyzing firm flatly reveals that careless driving behavior is at its apex each year during the summer months. Research findings indicate that driver distractions jump by about 10 percent during the June-August timeframe.

Astonishingly, that equates to "average" motorists being focused on something other than driving about a quarter of the time they spend in traffic.

How frightening is that for other drivers who are dutifully paying attention and trying to stay safe? What are the implications for the increased number of pedestrians, motorcyclists and bike riders who are trying to responsibly share road space during the busiest traffic period of the year?

Here's a sobering and depressing - let's just be candid and say "tragic" - number supplied recently by federal safety regulators: The June-August period yields 29% more road fatalities than is the case for the December-February timeframe.

Admittedly, distractions are at a pronounced high for many motorists during the summer. Moreover, roadway conditions are far superior to what generally prevails during winter. That brings faster speeds and reduced stopping times.

The bottom line is simply that the summer period puts more inattentive drivers out on streets and highways than is the case during any other time of the year. Increased accidents owing to motorists' negligence are an inevitable byproduct of that annually recurring reality.

Questions or concerns regarding a motor vehicle accident - ranging from causation to liability - can be directed to a proven attorney who routinely advocates for accident victims whose injuries owe to third-party negligence.

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