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Study: drivers use phones even though they know it's wrong

Most Oklahoma motorists who drive while distracted know that the practice is hazardous. This trend can be seen nationwide, according to the second yearly distracted driving study from Root Insurance. Nearly half of respondents called distracted driving their top concern on the road, and 99% pointed to phones as among the top three distractions. Nevertheless, respondents said they use their cellphones for an average of 13 minutes each day while on the road.

In addition, 38% said they will not bother to stop using their cellphones when they spot police. An overwhelming majority were critical of other drivers who use their phones behind the wheel. For instance, 89% said they would give a poor rating to an Uber/Lyft driver who texts and drives, and 39% claimed they have done so.

Phone use is not the only distraction the survey found. Playing with a pet, changing clothes and grooming while driving were additional distractions. Nearly 30% even admitted to driving without their hands on the steering wheel.

Root Insurance also issued its 2019 Focused Driving Report, which discovered that Generation Z drivers (18- to 24-year-olds) use their cellphones an average of 20 times for every 100 miles driven. Root is one company that offers insurance discounts to those drivers who avoid phone use.

Phone use can be a criminal act under certain circumstances. In Oklahoma, it is illegal for all drivers to text behind the wheel. If a distracted driver causes an accident, their auto insurance company will likely be dealing with a personal injury case as well. A crash victim can sue for economic and non-economic losses like vehicle damage, medical bills and pain and suffering. A lawyer may evaluate the case and hire investigators to gather evidence of the defendant's negligence.

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