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Distracted driving rates still high, still a danger to motorists

We would all like to think that every driver on the road is taking adequate precautions to drive safely and pay attention to the road. Unfortunately, distracted driving is all too prevalent in Illinois; preventable car accidents still happen because motorists are more focused on their phones than driving, despite the considerable awareness efforts that have been launched to curb the behavior.

When people think about distracted driving, they often think of talking on a handheld phone or texting. These are certainly two very distracting behaviors, and there are laws that specifically prohibit these activities while driving. Unfortunately, there is reportedly an increase in drivers who seem to be missing the message these laws and awareness campaigns are trying to send. 

A recent report by State Farm determined that while drivers are talking on handheld phones less and have not increased texting habits in the past six years, they are surfing the Internet at increasing rates.

The insurance company commissions an annual survey to gauge the attitudes and behaviors of about 1,000 drivers. In the most recent survey, there were some troubling results in regards to Internet use behind the wheel. According to the results, this year:

  • The number of drivers who check email while driving increased to 25 percent
  • The number of drivers using social media sites increased to 20 percent
  • The number of drivers browsing or using the Internet doubled to 26 percent

This survey suggests that while drivers may be limiting their texting or talking behind the wheel, they are still distracted by other communications on their phone. In fact, roughly one quarter of the drivers surveyed are still unable to detach from their devices while driving. 

Distracted driving of any kind doesn't just affect the people who could be ticketed and penalized for breaking the law. It can put the lives and safety of every other person on the road in danger.

It seems clear that drivers all across the U.S. are still engaged in these risky behaviors and missing the message that all distractions behind the wheel are needlessly dangerous. The most effective way to hold these reckless drivers accountable could be to take legal action and pursue compensation if and when they cause an accident. 

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