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Many drivers recognize danger of texting but still do it

People using their smartphones behind the wheel is a common sight in California. Although the hazards of that behavior are well known, the results of a survey conducted by Progressive Insurance revealed contradictory attitudes about texting and driving. Most view it as unsafe and think it should be legally prohibited, but significant percentages of young people and men believe that they can text and drive successfully.

The insurance company collected responses online from about 1,000 people 18 and older. Age produced a clear division in attitudes. Over 60 percent of people between 18 and 34 expressed confidence in their ability to text while driving. Among people age 55 and older, just under 6 percent expected themselves to text behind the wheel safely.

A sharp divide in responses emerged according to gender as well. Across all age groups, 21 percent of men indicated that they were very confident about texting and driving whereas 11 percent of women responded the same way. Regardless of what people believe about their abilities to use a smartphone while operating a vehicle, statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drive home the dangers of distracted driving. Crashes attributed to distracted drivers in 2015 killed 3,477 people and injured another 391,000.

The law views certain behaviors of drivers, such as drinking, speeding or texting, as potentially reckless and negligent. When a person suffers injuries in a crash caused by an unsafe driver, an attorney who has motor vehicle accident could support the effort to recover financial damages. Someone with catastrophic injuries might especially benefit from legal representation because of the need to collect compensation for long-term disability.

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