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Many admit to distracted driving though they know it is unsafe

Caroline MunleyA Harris poll of more than 2,000 adults earlier this summer revealed that although more than nine in ten Americans believe sending and reading texts while driving is dangerous, 45% of those surveyed said they still do it. Among those surveyed with smartphones or tablets, over one-third said they use the devices to search things while driving.

Despite knowing that talking on a cell phone is also dangerous when driving, 74% of those surveyed said they do talk on their cell phones when driving. They admitted to other distracting behaviors as well, such as grooming, posting to Facebook or Twitter, and some admit having read a book or magazine or watched a video on a smartphone while driving.

USA Today reported that about 660,000 drivers in the US are using handhold cellphones while driving at any moment. This number has steadily increased since 2010, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey.

Accidents as a result of distracted driving can often be fatal. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that 3,328 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2012 and 421,000 people were injured. The NHTSA reported that 71% of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes were male. Additionally, 57% of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were driving in the daytime.

Distracted driving is any behavior that can divert a drivers attention away from driving, even for just a moment. Distractions can include cell phone use, eating or drinking, talking to other passengers in the vehicle, reading, grooming, using navigational systems, and adjusting radios among others.

According to the website distraction.gov, 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. A recent AAA Foundation in-car study found that teen drivers were distracted almost a quarter of the time they were behind the wheel. Electronic devices, such as texting, emails and downloading music, were among the biggest distractions.

53% of teens that reported talking on a phone while driving, said they were chatting with their parents, according to a study presented this month at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Washington. The researchers in the new study found that the proportion of teens that reported using cell phones while driving has risen dramatically in recent years, despite publicity about the dangers.

The personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys encourage adults to set a good example for their teens:

  • Don’t talk on a cell phone or text while you are driving.
  • If you must call your teen, don’t call when you know they are driving. If it is an emergency, call them and ask them to pull over into a safe spot and call you back.
  • Set rules for your teens regarding distracted driving and talk openly about the importance of following the rules and the tragic accidents that can happen if they don’t.

If you have been injured as a result of a distracted driver, the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Visit www.munley.com.

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