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Study profiles drivers at high risk for distraction

Louisiana drivers who use their phones behind the wheel may want to think about what their motivations for doing so are. The Society for Risk Analysis has recently conducted a situation-based analysis that revealed four profiles for drivers who had a strong intention of driving distracted. The profiles consisted of women, people with little driving experience, individuals with a negative view of road safety and those with little inhibitions.

One conclusion that the society made was that women are more likely to use their phones behind the wheel than men are. Observational studies also show that 18 percent of people in high-income countries as well as 31 percent in middle- and low-income countries use mobile phones while driving.

Researchers noted that while drivers may practice self-regulation, they still have little idea of when it is safe for them to use their phones. Some people, for example, use them when stopped at intersection lights while others avoid using them in heavy traffic or when law enforcement is present. The safest action, researchers assert, is for drivers to pull over to use their phones.

Drivers called more than texted since the latter comes with visual demands. Nonetheless, 68 percent of participants said that they would need a lot of convincing before they would believe that texting and driving is dangerous. Texting can, in fact, increase the risk of a crash by six times.

Most states prohibit some level of mobile phone use among drivers because it is a form of negligence. When negligence is to blame for an accident, though, a victim may have a viable personal injury case. A lawyer can have experts gather the police report, medical information and other proof showing the defendant's negligence and the extent of the plaintiff's injuries. An attorney can then negotiate for a fair settlement out of court.

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