Mark H. Pearson, Attorney at Law
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Why Americans drive while distracted

The 2019 Travelers Risk Index asked over 2,000 people about their driving habits. Among the takeaways from the survey were that nearly 80 percent of consumers who responded said that they talk on the phone while driving. Furthermore, 30 percent admitted that they had nearly been in an accident because they were distracted. While distracted driving can be dangerous in Connecticut and across the U.S., many respondents said that they would have a hard time putting the phone down while driving.

In some cases, individuals didn't feel like they had a choice in the matter. For instance, some said that their bosses would be upset if they missed a call or weren't available after work. Others said that they didn't want to miss a call if an emergency happened after they left for the day. Another common reason for using a phone while driving is that it offered a chance to be productive.

Of those who responded to the study, 19 percent said that they would still text while driving even if it were illegal. However, research has shown that there have been fewer serious crashes in states where laws exist that ban this activity. Specifically, there were 4 percent fewer emergency room visits because of car accidents and 8 percent fewer accident injuries in states with such bans.

If an individual is distracted at the time of an accident, he or she may be labeled a negligent driver. This is important because it may allow an injured victim to obtain compensation for his or her injuries. Compensation may help to pay for medical bills and other long-term costs, such as lost wages or future earnings. Evidence such as police reports, cellphone records and witness statements may be used in court in an effort to obtain a favorable outcome for a victim.

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