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Survey on texting and driving finds mixed attitudes

Some West Virginia motorists may feel that they are comfortable texting and driving, but many drivers also feel that it is unsafe for others to do so. Progressive Insurance conducted a survey in August 2017 and received about 1,000 responses from drivers who were at least 18.

About two-thirds of respondents said they felt texting or looking at the phone and driving was the most common cause of traffic accidents, but despite that, one-third said they were very or somewhat confident that they could text and drive safely. More than 80 percent felt police should be able to pull over a motorist for simply texting while driving.

Breaking the results down by age and gender showed significant differences of opinion. Just 6 percent of people 55 and older said they were somewhat or very confident of their ability to drive and text safely while 62 percent of people 18-34 felt that same confidence. However, almost the same percentage of people 18-34 felt that it was a leading cause of car accidents as in the overall group of respondents. Roughly two times more men than women were very confident about their texting and driving ability, but nearly 90 percent of men and 97 percent of women said they thought it should be illegal.

As this study indicates, drivers will continue to engage in some dangerous behaviors even when they disapprove of those behaviors in others. Texting while driving or using a phone in other ways while driving may result in a serious car accident in which passengers and other drivers are injured. While the driver responsible for the accident is also usually considered liable for medical expenses, that driver's insurance company may not pay enough compensation. Injured people may want to file a civil lawsuit with the help of an attorney if this happens.

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