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Study identifies people most likely to be distracted drivers

According to a new study, certain types of New Mexico motorists are more likely to engage in distracted driving behaviors than others. These types of drivers include women, people who are very attached to their phones, reckless individuals and those who are very disinhibited. The results were published recently by the Society for Risk Analysis.

For the study, researchers in South East Queensland, Australia, surveyed 447 drivers about several driving factors, including perceived crash risk, driving abilities, likelihood of making a call while driving and odds of texting while driving. They found that 68 percent of the study's participants had a hard time accepting that texting and driving is always dangerous. Of those participants, many believed that texting had a limited impact on a driver's ability to operate a vehicle.

U.S. crash statistics show that drivers who text and drive are 6.1 times more likely to be involved in a crash, and people who talk on their phones while driving are 2.2 times more likely to be involved in an accident. The study found that separation anxiety and the fear of missing out compelled drivers to use their phones while driving. However, researchers also found that the presence of law enforcement officers and driving on challenging roadways encouraged drivers to put down their devices and concentrate on the road.

Phone use is responsible for a large percentage of car accidents every year. The victim of a distracted driving crash may have the grounds to sue the at-fault driver for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. If a distracted driver kills someone in an accident, the victim's family also has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation. A personal injury attorney could help file either type of claim.

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