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Distracted driving research shows surprising, dangerous results

In Riverside and across the nation, the risks of encountering a driver who is not paying strict attention to the road are increasing. This is due to the number of ways in which a driver can multitask. Texting and driving, checking apps, using social media and other distractions are prevalent. Studies try to make sense of the information and determine who is most at risk. Sometimes, these studies yield surprising and worrisome results. Such is the case with a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

AAA found that millennials between the ages of 19 and 24 are the most likely to use their phones while behind the wheel. Twenty-five hundred Americans took part in the survey to come to this conclusion. More than 88 percent of people in that age group stated that they took part in risky behaviors while driving, including running red lights, speeding, and texting and driving. Slightly more than 79 percent of those between the ages of 25 and 39, and slightly more than 69 percent of people ages 16 to 18 made similar admissions.

Every day, nearly 100 people die in car accidents and the use of smartphones behind the wheel is viewed as a major factor. Driving under the influence was found to be a dangerous behavior as well. Many drivers who took part in the survey felt that they could engage in these risky acts while driving but said others should not. Three out of every four people who took part said they were against speeding, but almost half said they had taken part in the practice. Reckless and irresponsible drivers are believed to have been responsible for close to one million deaths on the road in the past quarter century. In 2015 alone, there were more than 35,000 deaths in car collisions. This was an increase of 7.2 percent from 2014.

Since a negligent driver can do so much damage and the statistics are stark, those who are involved in a car accident need to know how and why it happened. These accidents can cost a significant amount of money in medical expenses, treatment and lost wages. If there is a fatality, the family left behind could have issues trying to make ends meet. A lawsuit is often the only available method to be financially compensated. While law enforcement will investigate a car accident to determine its circumstances, nothing can replace legal help to determine if the crash was due to distracted driving. This can be a key factor in a case.

Source: nbclosangeles.com, "New Study Shows Young Adults Are More Likely Than Teens to Text and Drive," Alexandra Villarreal, Feb. 14, 2017

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