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Survey suggests a sharp increase in cell phone use while driving

According to a new survey, the number of drivers who report frequent cell phone use while driving has risen sharply in the last few years. Ironically, these same drivers recognized distracted driving as a significant roadway hazard. This alarming trend could affect traffic safety in Oklahoma.

Authored by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the survey identified driving behavior and beliefs among 2,613 drivers. The study only interviewed drivers at least 16 years of age who had driven a car within the last 30 days. According to the survey, the number of drivers who reported using a cell phone frequently while driving increased 46 percent since the issue was studied in 2013. The drivers surveyed reported that nearly half of them had talked on the phone or read a text message while driving. Over one-third reported writing a text message or e-mail while behind the wheel.

Distracted driving has the potential to wreak havoc across Oklahoma roads. According to previous AAA studies, a driver is four times more likely to cause a crash while speaking on a cell phone. A driver is eight times more likely to cause a crash when they text and drive. Considering that there are over 37,000 U.S. deaths a year due to traffic accidents, it's no mystery why states are cracking down on texting and driving.

Distracted driving can lead to devastating consequences. An individual injured by a distracted driver may be able to recover compensation for crash-related medical bills, pain and suffering, repair costs and lost wages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law could help a crash victim recover their damages through the legal process.

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