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Survey finds many drivers text behind the wheel

In an online August 2017 survey of about 1,000 drivers, Progressive Insurance found that most thought texting and driving was dangerous and should be prohibited despite many admitting to doing so themselves. Some Louisiana drivers may have been among the 83 percent who said that police should be able to pull drivers over for texting. However, around one-third of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” confident in their texting and driving ability.

Results regarding this confidence differed by age group and sex. In the 18-to-34 age group, 62 percent said they were somewhat or very confident while only 6 percent of drivers older than 54 said the same. However, around two-thirds of both 18-to-34 drivers and all drivers also believed texting was a common cause of accidents. Only 11 percent of women were very confident that they could text and drive safely while 21 percent of men thought they could.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a factor in 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2015. Drivers listed some of the common distracting activities they did on their phones while driving as using a map, looking at an app or using a virtual assistant.

Accidents caused by these types of distractions can be physically, emotionally and financially devastating. The driver who caused the accident may be financially liable for an injured person’s medical costs, but an insurance company might offer insufficient compensation. An injured person may want to file a civil lawsuit if this happens. An attorney might also be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement that helps cover medical costs, vehicle repair and other expenses.

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