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Perceived ability to safely text and drive may put some at risk

Although a majority of motorists in Illinois and around the country may feel irritated or concerned when they observe other people texting and driving, approximately one-third of them apparently believe that they can handle both tasks at the same time. Extrapolated from the results of a 2017 Progressive Insurance study, this conclusion lies in sharp contrast to other findings in connection with this particular research effort. For example, the majority of the survey respondents believe that texting behind the wheel is dangerous, and more than 90 percent of them say that distracted driving should be illegal.

The survey results may have serious implications for roadway safety. In 2015, distracted driving was a factor in the deaths of 3,477 people and injuries to 391,000 others, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. About 1,000 insured drivers who were at least 18 years of age participated in the online survey.

A representative of Progressive is hopeful that study findings will ultimately lead to safer driving habits. Early use of the insurer's Snapshot Mobile app seems to suggest that personalized feedback may ultimately reduce the practice of texting and driving, according to company officials.

While 83 percent of the drivers who responded to this study believe that police should be allowed to pull over a motorist for texting alone, some of them will likely continue to engage in the risky practice. When Illinois residents become injured in motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of other drivers, they may decide to pursue financial compensation for their losses. An attorney can often be of assistance in this regard.

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