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Distractions a growing problem for drivers in U.S.

In Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S., drivers are finding it harder than ever to break away from distractions, especially from their phones. In a survey of more than 2,000 consumers, the Travelers Companies found that nearly eight in 10 uses the phone while behind the wheel. Over 30% were in a near-miss crash because of it.

The respondents to the survey admitted to using their phone for a wide range of reasons. Forty-four percent, for instance, would type a text or email with it, 23% would access social media and 22% would record videos or take photographs. Lastly, 15% claimed to use their phones to shop online while driving. Among the owners of phones with a Do Not Disturb feature, 41% would actively choose not to turn it on.

Some think it would be difficult to stop reading texts or emails behind the wheel (13%) or to stop sending texts and emails (11%). Even more disheartening is the fact that 19% claimed they would continue to drive distracted even if it were against the law.

Certain businesses require constant connectivity from their employees, which may play a role in this unsafe trend. The survey also mentions the passivity of passengers as another problem: 16% responded that they never speak up when riding with a distracted driver.

Distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents, and those who are injured at the hands of a distracted driver are eligible for compensation. Plaintiffs who are 50% or less at fault might recover damages in this state. Still, to ensure the highest possible settlement, victims may want a lawyer by their side. The lawyer might hire investigators to establish the defendant's guilt before heading off to negotiations. A successful claim may cover things like medical expenses and lost wages.

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