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Study examines texting and driving behaviors

Drivers in Berks, throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation now not only have to be aware of the known dangers on the road, but other, previously nonexistent concerns as well. In addition to the drivers who do not adhere to the law, flout traffic signals and operate under the influence, the number of drivers who are behaving as a distracted driver is problematic. This goes beyond texting and driving and into the endless number of distractions with a mobile device.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eight people die and nearly 1,200 people are injured due to distracted drivers across the nation. Recent research has examined not just the problem of texting and driving, but what people are texting in their last messages before a fatal car accident. This study was done by AutoInsurance Center and surveyed more than 2,000 drivers about their texting activities when in the car. The most frequent reason that people gave for texting and driving was the pressure to answer a text from someone they care. This came in at 26 percent. Making plans was next at 19 percent. The reluctance to wait too long in responding was 17 percent. And needing directions came in at 15 percent.

Eight percent stated that the messages were extremely important. 39 percent said they were somewhat important. 36 percent said they were not of particular importance. 18 percent said they were unimportant. The age ranges were varied between baby boomers to millennials. 87 to 92 percent of the message recipients were family or close friends. The others were simple acquaintances or colleagues. 90 percent of baby boomers said they never texted while driving. 6 percent of millennials and 3 percent of Generation X said they texted while driving. 58 percent of Generation X and 49 percent of millennials said they never text and drive.

Common phrases sent as a last text before a fatal accident were "I love you," "I'll be dead," and "driving drunk." Alcohol is a known factor in a large number of texting and driving incidents with fatalities. This research is worrisome for those who are on the road and operating their vehicles safely. When there is an accident with injuries, it is important to understand how and why it happened in the event that there is a personal injury case. Part of the crash reconstruction must determine what was happening right before the accident. Having help from an attorney who is experienced in a variety of accidents and pursuing compensation can be useful in a case.

Source: digitaltrends.com, "Fatal Final Words: Driver Habits Study Shows Most Common Texts Before Crash," Bruce Brown, Jan. 27, 2017

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