Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Memes, other social media a frequent distraction for drivers

Drivers in Connecticut and across the U.S. are using their phones and other mobile devices more. Though most drivers acknowledge the danger of being distracted behind the wheel, they engage in it anyway. This appears to be one finding of an online study from the market research firm Wakefield Research. Nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers responded to it; below are some of the results.

Of those surveyed, 99% ranked phone use among the top three distractions for a driver. Almost half said that distracted driving is their top concern on the road. The majority were critical of other drivers who drove distracted with 89% saying they would leave a bad rating on ride-hailing drivers who text behind the wheel.

However, respondents admitted to using their phones for an average of 13 minutes behind the wheel every day. About 52% said that group chats, including text and email chains with multiple people, were the most liable to distract them while 33% said the same for social media, which included even things like memes and newsfeeds, and 18% admitted to frequently streaming videos while driving.

Nearly two in five drivers said that the presence of law enforcement does not compel them to put their phones down. Root Insurance, which provides insurance discounts to those who avoid phone use, says that fear tactics alone will not stop distracted driving.

Sometimes, it takes a car accident to get drivers to think more deeply about their actions. Unfortunately, that accident will probably involve an innocent driver as well. In Connecticut, victims who are less than 51% at fault may be eligible to recover damages. Filing the claim and negotiating for the settlement may require legal guidance. A lawyer might also help by hiring investigators to gather physical evidence from the crash, the defendant's phone records and other important proof of negligence.

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