Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

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Online study: drivers distracted by memes, other social media

Phones, as most California residents know, are some of the most widespread sources of distraction among drivers. In an online study that involved nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers, 99% named phones as one of the top three distractions. Nearly half of the respondents also said that they make distracted driving their top concern behind the wheel.

However, those same respondents admitted to using their phones while driving, too. The study calculated the average time spent on their phones to be 13 minutes per day. Moreover, almost two in five respondents said they do not put down their phones at the sight of law enforcement.

At the same time, most respondents thought of themselves as good drivers with 90% contrasting themselves favorably with ride-hailing drivers. About 89% said they would give a bad rating to any ride-hailing driver who texted while on the road, and 39% even said they have done so before.

Among phone-related distractions, group chats were the most widely represented; 52% admitted to participating in them. Another 33% said that social media, including memes and newsfeeds, frequently distract them. About 18% said that streaming videos takes their attention from the road.

The study was conducted by the market research firm Wakefield Research. Root Insurance, a company that provides discounts to drivers who avoid phone use, recently shared the study's results.

When distracted driving is behind an auto accident, the victims of the distracted driver may be able to file a personal injury claim. In California, even those who are partially at fault may recover damages although the amount will naturally be proportionate to that degree of fault. Victims may be reimbursed for medical bills, lost wages, a diminished capacity to work, pain and suffering and whatever else is applicable. They may want a lawyer to assist them in filing a claim.

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