Motor vehicle accidents contribute to more than 2 million injuries each year according to the CDC. In order to avoid being another statistic, drivers in California are encouraged to consider the common risks associated with motor vehicle crashes. These include texting while behind the wheel and being distracted or drowsy while driving. Ongoing research into these risk factors has improved the understanding of the true impact of distractions on accidents and injuries.

Associated with about 20 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents, drowsy driving can affect the cognitive and visual resources needed for optimal driving abilities. Some research suggests that drivers who get four to five hours of sleep per night are more than five times as likely to be involved in a crash than those who rest for seven hours or more. Frequent blinking, nodding off while at traffic lights and slower reaction times are among the signs suggesting that it’s time for drivers to pull over or let someone else drive.

Contributing to more than a thousand injuries each day, texting while driving is one of the leading reasons for lack of driver concentration. One suggestion for reducing the temptation to grab a device while on the road is for drivers to purposely put smartphones out of reach. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety points out that stressful driving such as yelling at motorists, tailgating and honking can also contribute to aggressive driving and increase accidents. Children demanding a driver’s attention can be another distraction.

If another person’s distracted driving contributed to personal injuries, a lawyer may help victims seek appropriate compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. While investigating a case involving possible driver distractions, an attorney might look at cellphone records to determine if devices were being used at the time of the incident; a lawyer might also review medical records for references to sleep issues suggesting that drowsiness was a factor.