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Drivers’ cell phone use is getting worse

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

According to a new survey of 1000 drivers by Mercury Insurance, more than one in six drivers say they use their cellphone while driving. The poll also highlights that 66% of active drivers admit to using their device while behind the wheel. Eighty-six percent of the drivers say they are more distracted now while driving than in 2019. Twenty-six percent of drivers say they have  been in or come close to an accident due to texting while driving. Drivers also using apps on their devices, with Facebook being the most popular (30%), followed by TikTok (18%) and Instagram (14%). Despite this data, the survey also shows that 80% of U.S. drivers rated their driving skills at an 8 or above out of 10.

Defensive Driving Strategies

Adopting defensive driving strategies is an effective way to minimize the risk of getting injured by a distracted driver. Here are some essential safety tips to consider:

  • Stay focused: Concentrate solely on driving. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind focused on the task at hand.
  • Maintain a safe distance: When following another vehicle, the three-second rule allows ample time to react if the driver becomes distracted or erratic and sudden stops are necessary.
  • Anticipate potential hazards: Scan the road ahead for possible hazards, such as distracted drivers, pedestrians, or sudden lane changes. Be prepared to react accordingly and adjust your speed or position to avoid any potential collisions.
  • Use defensive signals: Utilize defensive signals to communicate your intentions clearly to other drivers.
  • Be vigilant at intersections: Many accidents are due to distracted drivers, so it is best to look both ways, even if you have the right of way.
  • Report reckless behavior: If you witness a driver exhibiting signs of distraction, report the incident to the local authorities.

A bad idea with dire implications

Mitigating the risks associated with distracted driving requires awareness, vigilance, and defensive driving strategies to make a difference. Still, injuries and property damage can occur.

Victims are burdened not only with the physical pain of injuries but also with the financial strain of medical expenses. Property damage is another considerable outcome; the costs of repairing or replacing vehicles can impose heavy economic strain. Victims have the right to file insurance claims to seek compensation for such damages.