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Federal agency addresses distracted drivers after stunts go viral

Distraction behind the wheel, as we've noted before on our Denver personal injury law blog, is a serious problem today that leads to injuries and death on roads and highways across the country. While media campaigns have tried for years to fight this trend, a new social media fad is unfortunately having just the opposite effect.

The fad arose when one popular online personality shared a video of himself dancing to a new song, "In My Feelings," by Drake. The video went viral on the Internet, with celebrities sharing similar videos of themselves dancing to the same song. It became a popular "challenge" for viewers to share increasingly extreme dance videos, with some eventually filming themselves jumping out of slow-moving cars on the road and dancing as their cars roll along next to them, driverless.

This dangerous trend has become widespread enough that the National Transportation Safety Board issued a statement about it on social media. Pointing out that car accidents are the number one cause of fatalities in this country, the federal agency urged drivers not to attempt the stunt. It further emphasized the deadly nature of all forms of distraction while operating motor vehicles and the importance of safe vehicle operation.

While the craze surrounding these videos will, one hopes, fade as quickly as it started, the larger concerns of unsafe and distracted driving are an ongoing battle. Safety advocates have fought for years to get the message out, especially to younger drivers, that responsible, attentive driving is a must. And when a reckless driver does cause a motor vehicle accident, being young and irresponsible is no excuse. A personal injury lawsuit can not only hold drivers accountable and provide compensation for victims' losses, it can also serve as an example of the consequences for their actions.

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