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Distracted driver survey shows behaviors still problematic

There are innumerable dangers on the road in Massachusetts and across the nation. However, one that is growing in anecdotal and statistical risk is encountering a distracted driver. Because looking away from the road increases the chance of being in an auto accident and nearly everyone has a device that is a clear temptation to use, it has become troublingly prevalent for there to be crashes due to distracted driving. Studies and surveys are conducted to determine the scope of the problem and the latest from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers are still using their cellphones behind the wheel despite the known risks.

The latest version of AAA's Traffic Safety Culture Index shows that 88 percent of drivers think that there is an increase in distracted driving and it has surpassed aggressive drivers and impaired drivers as a concern. Since 2013, the number of drivers who admit to talking on their cellphone when driving and do so on a regular basis or "fairly often" has grown by 46 percent. Forty-nine percent of drivers say they had recently done so. 35 percent admitted to sending emails or text messages. Fifty-Eight percent say that speaking on a cellphone behind the wheel can lead to serious threats to personal safety. Seventy-Eight percent say texting is a major risk. Studies have shown that there is a four times greater risk of being in an accident if a driver is talking on a cellphone. It is up to eight times higher if the driver is texting.

Those who took part in the survey stated that the frequency of distracted driving has risen in the past three years. Half say they see drivers who are texting and emailing while driving. This is a contradiction of federal statistics saying that distracted driving accidents has reduced by two percent. It is possible that the reduction stems from underreporting of distracted driving. In the AAA survey, more than 2,600 drivers that were aged 16 and older and drove in the previous 30 days participated.

Despite the best efforts on the part of law enforcement and legislators to find ways to reduce the incidence of drivers who are distracted, it is still a problem that is not going away. With the medical expenses, lost wages, long-term problems and other issues that result from accidents due to distracted drivers, it is imperative to have legal help to seek compensation. An attorney who is experienced in cases involving a distracted driving car accident can help with moving forward with a case.

Source: newsroom.aaa.com, "Distraction Tops Drivers' List of Growing Dangers on the Road," March 29, 2018

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