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Smartphone use not the most dangerous form of distracted driving

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Posted on April 17, 2018

An Erie Insurance study looked at 172,000 traffic deaths over the past five years. What they discovered was that 1 out of every 10 deaths in Illinois and elsewhere were caused by distracted driving. Of those deaths, only 14 percent were related to phone use while in a car. The leading cause of distracted driving deaths was an inattentive driver. This is someone who was thinking about work, winning the lotto or something other than the situation on the road.

The cause of inattentive driving may be related to how humans react when engaged in a mundane task. Since driving a car is something that most adults have done many times, it is easy to become bored while behind the wheel. That conclusion is backed by the fact that Erie Insurance has done surveys about traffic deaths for many years and has generally seen the same results each time.

It might seem strange that inattention causes more distracted driving deaths since smartphone use in cars gets a lot of attention. Efforts such as public service announcements and changes to how phones operate have been made in an effort to reduce the danger phones present. Eye-tracking software in new vehicles could help solve the problem of drivers not paying attention until fully autonomous cars are introduced to American roadways.

A car wreck can have serious consequences for all who are involved. Victims could spend weeks or months recovering from their injuries, and this may mean that they are unable to go to work or school. If a driver was negligent in causing the crash, he or she may be liable for paying damages to injured victims. Other parties may be liable for a victim’s injuries depending on the circumstances of the accident.