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Distracted driving and cellphones linked

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms that drivers are very concerned about the problem of distracted driving. According to the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, 88 percent of the nation's drivers consider distracted driving to head the list risky behaviors, followed by:

  • Aggressive driving (68 percent)
  • Drugged driving (55 percent)
  • Intoxicated driving (43 percent)

Since 2013, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of drivers who self-report cellphone usage while driving. Almost half (49 percent) of drivers report that they recently talked on hand-held cellphones behind the wheel. Even worse, almost 35 percent of drivers report sending at least one email or text while driving.

What is particularly alarming is that almost 58 percent of motorists acknowledge that cellphone usage when driving presents serious hazards to their own personal safety, and another 78 percent perceive texting while driving to be a significant danger. Research by the AAA Foundation indicates drivers who talk on cellphones have four times the collision risk and those texting while driving have a risk that's double that figure.

Yet they do it anyway. What can eliminate these dangerous behaviors?

The East Central Director of Legislative Affairs for AAA states that "the AAA Foundation is committed to this task through studies . . . which offer insight to better understand the issue and identify possible countermeasures."

Distracted driving can be difficult to pinpoint after a collision because it often goes undetected. Therefore, the problem is likely to worsen. The director added that, "according to past AAA Foundation research, distraction played a roll in 58 percent of crashes with teen drivers which is 44 percent more than federal estimates."

If you were injured in a crash that you know (or suspect) was caused by a distracted driver, you have options available to pursue financial compensation through the Pennsylvania civil courts.

Source: Record Herald, "Distraction tops list of growing dangers for drivers," March 29, 2018

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