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AAA Foundation says distracted driving is a serious issue

Some West Virginia motorists might be engaging in distracting behaviors while behind the wheel even if they disapprove of them. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found in a survey that almost 50 percent more drivers said they talked on a cellphone fairly often or regularly while they were driving compared to those who were asked a similar question in a 2013 survey. However, even though almost half said they had used handheld phones, more than half said they believed talking on the phone while driving was a serious safety issue.

More than one-third of the people who were survey said they had sent an email or text while driving, and almost 45 percent reported reading one. Despite this, nearly 80 percent said they believed texting and driving was dangerous. They said they believed there was more distracted driving happening compared to three years ago. However, only around 40 percent of people said they believed there should be a ban on all cell phone use while driving.

Federal estimates are that accidents resulting from distracted driving have dropped slightly, but the AAA Foundation contends that distracted driving is underreported. According to the Foundation, talking on a cellphone makes a driver four times more likely to crash while a texting driver is eight times more likely.

When actions such as talking on a cellphone or texting and driving result in a collision, passengers and other drivers may be seriously injured. The driver who caused the accident may be liable for the expenses of those injured even if there are no criminal charges involved. Victims thus might want to meet with an attorney to see what recourse might be available.

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