Poll: many have a hypocritical attitude towards distracted driving

A new poll has found that many adult Americans continue to use wireless devices while driving, despite knowing the dangers of doing so.

Because of a media blitz in this area, it can be said that if you have not heard about the dangers of distracted driving yet, you must have been living under a rock for the past few years. A recent poll found that most adults are aware that distracted driving can significantly raise the possibility of car accidents. Unfortunately, the poll also found that despite knowing the dangers of distracted driving, a significant amount of adults continue to do it anyway.

The Harris poll was taken in May of this year. It surveyed 2,045 adults about their habits behind the wheel. The poll found that 94 percent of respondents said that they believed that sending texts while behind the wheel is "dangerous" or "very dangerous." In addition, 91 percent of the adults said the same thing about reading texts while driving. Sadly, despite their purported knowledge of the risks that texting poses, 37 percent said that they regularly send text messages. Additionally 45 percent admitted to regularly reading texts while on the road.

The poll uncovered the same hypocrisy with regard to using cellphones. Approximately 69 percent of survey respondents said that handheld cellphone use while driving was dangerous. However, despite this professed belief, 74 percent of the participants said that they regularly talk on the phone while driving. Almost one-quarter of these participants admitted to using cellphones frequently.

This attitude is quite shocking, especially since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show that distracted driving is a significant cause of fatalities and injuries on the nation's roadways. In 2012 alone, 3,328 Americans were killed and 421,000 were injured by driver distraction. As a result, Americans cannot afford to treat this issue lightly.

Distracted driving in Missouri

To fight back against the threat of distracted drivers, many states have passed laws banning or restricting the use of cellphones while driving. Although there have been numerous distracted driving safety campaigns lately in Missouri, it is legal to use a cellphone or text while behind the wheel for most people. The only exception is that novice drivers under age 21 are prohibited from texting.

Despite the absence of a law, there are plenty of reasons for Missouri drivers to put down their cellphones. Aside from staying safe, drivers that cause accidents because they were distracted by a phone call or text can face a civil lawsuit for negligence. In the lawsuit, the injured party may recover losses such as property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering and other expenses caused by the accident.

If you find yourself involved in a car accident caused by driver inattention, it is helpful to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can determine if negligence was to blame for the accident and work to recover the compensation that you are entitled to under law.

Keywords: car accidents, distracted driving