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How people perceive texting and driving

According to a poll conducted for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, residents and drivers in California and across the rest of the country believe that texting while driving is a bigger problem than operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Specifically, it found that even though many Americans considered driving while under the influence of marijuana can be dangerous, only 40 percent thought that it contributed to a person getting into an accident.

Data from the National Safety Council found that there were as many as 40,000 deaths from automobile crashes in 2016. That figure represented a 6 percent increase over 2015. However, 99 percent of the poll's respondents thought that using social media while driving was dangerous. Only 91 percent said that marijuana use was dangerous despite its impact on a driver's motor skills and other functions. For instance, marijuana may reduce a person's reaction time in an emergency situation.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, there have been more accidents in states where marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized. The age of the driver may play a role as to whether he or she drives while high. Among all age groups, those between the ages of 18-34 were most likely to drive while high, and they also were more likely to be impaired from marijuana as opposed to alcohol.

Those who are hurt in automobile accidents may sustain serious injuries that may reduce their quality of life. If a driver was texting prior to a crash, he or she may be liable for any damages related to those injuries. For instance, a negligent driver may have to pay for a victim's medical bills or to modify a home or car. Attorneys may use police or witness statements to show that texting or other negligence caused a crash.

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