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Study suggests distracted driving is a multigenerational problem

Millennials and Gen Zers in West Virginia and other parts of the country routinely are accused of being the group of drivers most likely to be distracted while behind the wheel. However, a Harris Poll study conducted with a leading car manufacturer suggests drivers in other generations may be just as likely to not be entirely focused on the road when driving. The results, based on two separate 2,000-subject studies, show that 90 percent of all individuals surveyed agree that there are more possible driver distractions today than what was common just five years ago.

As far as what generations are more likely to take the kind of risks that may contribute to a traffic accident, 81 percent of both Millennials and Generation Xers admit to using their smartphones while driving. Roughly 70 percent of younger Baby Boomers and individuals in the Generation Z age group admit to the same thing. Nearly 65 percent of older Boomers and more than half of the older Silent Generation have also used their phones while behind the wheel.

Another interesting finding from the study was that everyone surveyed thought that other drivers were much more likely to be doing things like texting, posting to social media and video chatting than what they actually admitted to doing themselves. For instance, respondents said they thought 90 percent of "other" drivers text while driving, but only 60 percent of the subjects said they had actually done this themselves. Also, more than half of the youngest subjects surveyed said it's harder to stay focused on a single task, like driving, these days.

Regardless of the age of the people who may be involved in a car crash, a personal injury attorney can take steps to determine who may be at fault. Proving that driver distraction was a factor sometimes involves checking mobile device records to see when calls or texts were made or sent. A lawyer also may review traffic camera footage or interview passengers and other potential witnesses to get a better picture of what happened.

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