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Study uncovers four profiles of distracted drivers

The Society for Risk Analysis conducted a situation-based analysis of drivers who are most likely to engage in distracted driving, especially calling and texting while driving. Researchers uncovered four profiles and came to several conclusions, some of which may be surprising to drivers in Georgia.

The four profiles are female drivers, drivers who frequently use their phones already for calling and texting, drivers with negative attitudes toward safety and drivers with few inhibitions. Researchers found that women are more likely than men to be distracted drivers. Among those who use their phones behind the wheel, calling was more frequent than texting because of the latter's visual demands.

Observational studies have shown that approximately 18 percent of drivers in high-income countries, and 31 percent in low- and middle-income countries, use their phones while on the road. Researchers found that most drivers have some form of self-regulation; for example, they avoid phone use in heavy traffic and sometimes limit it to times when they are stopped at lights.

Researchers believe that their results can help in creating distracted driving campaigns that target certain assumptions and safety attitudes. Calling doubles crash risk, and texting increases that risk by 6 times, yet 68 percent of the study's participants said they were unconvinced of the dangers of texting.

Regardless of drivers' opinions, using a phone behind the wheel is a negligent act. When car accidents arise from such behavior, victims may have the grounds to file a claim against the guilty driver's auto insurance company. If successful, they might receive damages that cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. Having legal guidance may be helpful as a lawyer might have the crash investigated and handle all negotiations. Should the insurance company refuse to pay out, the lawyer may help the client prepare for a trial.

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