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On 11/5/20, the Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association) named Russ Hixson, of Hixson & Brown, the Outstanding Member Award recipient for 2020.

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Distracted driving is a major roadway threat

Iowa drivers have good reason to be worried about the threat posed by distracted drivers on the roadways. Smartphones and text communication have become ubiquitous, and with that popularity has come a wide rage of easy distractions that can divert drivers’ eyes and minds from traffic. Recent years have seen an ongoing uptick in the number of fatal car accidents; many experts have correlated this increased danger with the rise of smartphone popularity and its associated distractions.

People continue to engage in distracted driving despite recognizing the dangers. In a study conducted by Consumer Reports, results showed that over half of licensed drivers with smartphones that responded admitting to sometimes texting, playing music, browsing the web or emailing from their phones while in control of a vehicle. The temptation of distracted driving can be hard to resist. This has prompted a number of phone manufacturers and app developers to address the problem by creating a specialized car mode that blocks incoming notifications.

A driver who wants to avoid the siren call of a beeping text message can take other actions to stay clear of their phone while behind the wheel. For example, placing the phone out of sight and in an inaccessible location can be a deterrent. Of course, enforcement penalties can chill this behavior as well; texting while driving tickets in many states can be expensive and even carry license points.

Despite the widespread knowledge of the danger of distracted driving, people are injured or even killed each day in car accidents in which distraction is a factor. People who have been injured in car crashes caused by another driver’s dangerous, negligent or distracted operation can consult with a personal injury lawyer. Victims may be able to seek compensation for their damages suffered.

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