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Distracted driving a major roadway danger

A study shows that drivers in California and across the country express a great deal of concern about distracted drivers but continue to engage in these behaviors when behind the wheel themselves. In the survey, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as part of the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, the number of drivers who say they have recently used a handheld cell phone while driving has shot up by 46 percent since 2013. At the same time, 88 percent of respondents also said that distracted driving poses a major threat.

The survey aims to measure Americans' attitudes and behaviors around key traffic safety issues; it included responses from 2,613 licensed drivers across the country, aged 16 and up. In the survey, almost 50 percent of participants said they had recently spoken on a handheld phone while driving and 45 percent said that they had read a text or email recently. An additional 35 percent admitted to sending a text or email while driving.

Simultaneously, the respondents saw distracted driving as a threat. A full 58 percent said that talking on the phone can be dangerous while driving and 78 percent said that texting while driving poses a major safety concern. Drivers who are talking on the phone are four times as likely to have car accidents than those who do not; those who text and drive are eight times more likely to be in a crash.

While the survey shows that the dangers of distracted driving are widely recognized, they also indicate just how prevalent those behaviors are on the nation's roadways. People who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by another driver's distracted or otherwise negligent driving may benefit from contacting a Northridge, California auto accident attorney. A lawyer may advise them on next steps to take to pursue compensation for the harms caused as a result of the crash.

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