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Study shows drivers think texting and driving isn't distracting

Drivers in New York and across the nation are acutely aware of the risks that distracted drivers pose. Not a day can goes by when drivers are out on the road, and they see someone who is doing something other than keeping their hands on the wheel and watching what is in front of them. Texting and driving can cause auto accidents with severe injuries and death. Even with the advertising blitz and studies that say how risky this behavior is, there are still people who believe that they can multitask and use devices while behind the wheel. A study from Progressive Insurance shows this.

In the study, approximately one-third of drivers believe they can text and drive and do so safely. This is simultaneous to the belief that distracted drivers cause most accidents and that 90 percent say it should not be legal. Age groups responded differently to questions regarding distracted driving. For people between 18 and 34, more than 60 percent said they believed they could text and drive safely. People 55 and older were far less certain with 6 percent saying the same.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that nearly 3,500 people died and approximately 391,000 people were hurt in distracted driving crashes in the U.S. in 2015. Teens comprised the highest number of distracted drivers when there was a fatal accident. The study also showed a gender disparity in believing they can drive while distracted. Twenty-one percent of men said they could do it safely. Eleven percent of women said the same. Still, 97 percent of women and 88 percent of men said that the practice should be illegal.

In the study, 65 percent said they think that texting or looking at their phone while behind the wheel is the most frequent cause of auto accidents in the U.S. Eighty-three percent think that law enforcement should have the right to stop drivers for texting. This, while 34 percent think they can text and drive safely.

Drivers who are in auto accidents can face a litany of problems in the aftermath including medical costs, hospital stays, lost time at work and the inability to live a normal life. With texting and driving so prominent an issue, evidence that it was happening at the time of a crash can be vital to a legal filing. Discussing a case with an attorney who is experienced in conducting an accident investigation is imperative.

Source: rideapart.com, "Study: Drivers Confident They Can Text and Drive," Tod Rafferty, Sept. 11, 2017

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
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