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Drivers send mixed signals in distracted driving study

California has some of the strictest distracted driving laws in the country, and the results of a recent study conducted by Progressive Insurance suggest that most drivers in the Golden State support these measures. An overwhelming 97 percent of the women and 88 of the men who responded to the insurance company's online poll said that they supported tough distracted driving laws, and 65 percent cited cellphone use behind the wheel as the leading cause of car accidents.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration add weight to these beliefs. Distracted driving accidents claimed 3,477 lives and left 391,000 road users injured in 2015, according to the safety agency, and the data reveals that teens are the age group most likely to be involved. The recent distracted driving study also indicates that the problem may be more pronounced among younger drivers. Less than 6 percent of drivers aged 55 or older responded yes when they were asked if they could text while driving safely, but that figure soared to a worrying 62 percent when the same question was asked to drivers aged between 18 and 34.

Opinions on this issue were also sharply divided between the genders with men being about twice as confident as women in their ability to text safely while behind the wheel. However, the sexes were in agreement that this kind of behavior is dangerous and should be off limits to others. California drivers are no longer permitted to use their cellphones for any reason, and 83 percent of the drivers polled by Progressive Insurance said that police should be able to pull over texting drivers.

Cases involving texting drivers can be challenging for personal injury attorneys because distraction can be difficult to prove. In these situations, experienced attorneys may check accident reports and witness statements to find out if the defendants in car accident cases took any evasive action before crashing. They could then study cellphone records and the information stored by modern automobile electronics systems to gather additional evidence if distraction seems likely.

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