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Social media a major source of distracted driving

Root Insurance has shared the results of an online study conducted by Wakefield Research, and they may be surprising to some drivers in Montana. Of the nearly 2,000 drivers who responded to the survey, about half claimed that distracted driving is their top concern when on the road, yet the respondents were found to use their phones for an average of 13 minutes every day behind the wheel.

Even more inconsistent is the fact that 99 percent of respondents acknowledged phone use as one of the top three distractions that are possible while driving. Drivers were, on the whole, more ready to criticize others for the same behaviors they exhibit. So 89 percent said they would give a bad rating to an Uber or Lyft driver for texting and driving, and 90 percent called themselves better drivers than these ride-hailing drivers.

Among phone-related distractions, the most prominent were group chats, including text and email chains with multiple people (52 percent). Streaming videos, such as shows and movie trailers, accounted for 18 percent. Thirty-three percent admitted to using social media, including looking at memes and newsfeeds.

Anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road is a distraction, and that includes anything on a phone. Yet nearly two in five respondents said they do not bother to put their phone down when police are around.

When distracted driving is behind a motor vehicle accident, it might form the basis for a personal injury claim on the part of those who are injured. Montana follows the rule of comparative negligence, which means only those whose degree of fault is less than the other's can recover damages. Damages may cover medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle damage, pain and suffering and more. Victims, for their part, might wish to see a lawyer and have him or her handle negotiations.

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Towe & Fitzpatrick, PLLC
619 SW Higgins, Ste. O
P.O. Box 1745
Missoula, MT 59806

Phone: 406-203-5148
Phone: 406-829-1669
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