Survey: texting drivers aware of dangers, choose not to stop

A recent survey found that most drivers know the danger of texting while driving. However, many choose to disregard these dangers and continue indulging in their habit.

To say that distracted driving is a significant problem is an understatement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nine people are killed and 1,000 are injured each day in car accidents due to distracted drivers. In Arizona alone, the Department of Public Safety reported that it stopped 20,000 drivers for some sort of distracted driving in a crackdown earlier this year. Of all the forms of distracted driving, texting is likely the worst, since the action of reading or writing a text message takes the driver's manual, physical and cognitive faculties away from the task of driving.

It is for this reason that texting while driving has been the subject of numerous safety campaigns. However, according to a recent survey, it seems that people have gotten the message that texting behind the wheel is extraordinarily dangerous. However, despite understanding the dangers, drivers consciously decide to continue texting.

Study 's findings

The survey, conducted by AT&T, involved 1,004 adult drivers. According to the survey, 98 percent of participants said that they agreed it was dangerous to text and drive. However, despite this belief, many drivers chose not to give up the habit. The survey found that approximately 66 percent of respondents admitted to reading a message while they were stopped at a stop sign or red light. More shockingly, 75 percent of respondents admitted that knowing the dangers of texting did not prevent them from sending a text message while the vehicle was in motion.

Why did the participants choose to continue texting, despite being aware of the dangers of doing so? The answers were varied. Approximately 43 percent of respondents said that they texted to stay in contact with family, work or friends. An additional 25 percent had the belief (that has been proved false in prior studies) that they could effectively multi-task while driving without being a danger to other drivers. Finally, 28 percent said that they feared missing an important event or felt pressured to respond immediately.

Texting in Arizona

Although many states have responded to the dangers that texting poses to other drivers on the road by banning the activity, Arizona is not one of them. However, some cities in the state, such as Phoenix, have passed anti-texting ordinances. Drivers caught texting in Phoenix are subject to a $100 civil fine. If the incident causes a motor vehicle accident, the fine increases to $250.

Although texting while driving is legal in most places in Arizona, this does not mean that texting drivers get a free pass if their habit causes an accident. Since all drivers have the general duty to operate their motor vehicles in a way that does not subject others to an unreasonable risk of harm, drivers that text and injure or kill others may face a civil lawsuit for negligence.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of a distracted driver, you may be eligible to recover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, funeral expenses and other losses under the law. An experienced personal injury attorney can work to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable for their carelessness.