Distracted Driving is a Known Risk, So Why Do We Keep Doing It?

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Although 90% of drivers surveyed understand that texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident, many of them still do it.

It turns out that drivers need to practice what they preach.  Though everyone seems to understand that texting and driving, or talking on a hand held cell phone while driving increases the likelihood of a car accident, it doesn’t stop them.  In a 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index study by AAA, 90% of drivers understood that texting or emailing while driving is a serious threat to their safety and 80% support a ban against such actions.  In addition, 66% of people said they would lose some respect for a friend if they were caught texting while driving.

However, a quarter of people surveyed admit to sending a text or email while behind the wheel during the last month and 70% admit to talking on their cell phone.  According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, “Good laws are important, but we know from past efforts to curb drunk driving and promote seatbelts that enforcement is the key.”

In this article, AAA founder Peter Kissinger stated, “Driving while texting, emailing, or talking on the phone aren’t perceived as egregious behaviors despite overwhelming scientific evidence of the serious crash risk these behaviors pose.  The ‘do as I say not as I do’ attitude is prevalent throughout much of the driving public.”

As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I believe that parents need to set a good driving example for their kids, even at an early age.  If children grow up watching their parents drive without a seatbelt or send text messages, they are more likely to do so themselves when they reach driving age.  So act as if your child is always watching.

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