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Study: Many Drivers Downplay Dangers Of Texting And Driving

It is impossible to deny the dangers associated with texting behind the wheel. Every single day, car accidents are caused as the result of distracted driving; the National Safety Council has reported that 1.6 million car accidents are caused by texting drivers annually – that’s 25 percent of all car accidents. If that isn’t clear enough, 11 teenagers die each day due to texting and driving.

These statistics are widely reported, and here in California drivers are aware of the dangers. So, why do so many people continue to risk their own lives and the lives of others by texting and driving?

According to a report that recently ran in the Los Angeles Times, a number of people might feel that they have the skills to text and drive safely, because they are such good drivers.

The LA Times report cites a study that has been published in the International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management. That study found that 80 percent of surveyed college students text while driving. It also found that male college students were likely to assume that they are such skilled drivers that it is less dangerous for them to text and drive than for others to do so.

While the study was very small, including only 120 students, the results do seem to make sense. Texting while driving is known to be incredibly dangerous, but many people maintain this habit and this could be because they are downplaying their own personal risk factor.

In California, texting while driving has been banned since 2009, but it has been reported that more people actually text behind the wheel now than before the ban. Texting bans have been notoriously difficult to enforce. However, when texting drivers cause car wrecks, they can be held accountable both in the criminal system and the civil system. This means they may face criminal charges as well as civil liability for their actions.

Distracted drivers put us all at risk. Those who are harmed by distracted drivers may benefit from seeking legal representation.

Source:¬†LATimes.com, “Males downplay risk of texting and driving, study says,” Monte Morin, Oct. 11, 2013

Source: Huffington Post Los Angeles, “California Texting While Driving Has Become More Popular Since Being Outlawed,” Aug. 13, 2013