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Many drivers find it hard to not be distracted

Drivers in New York may be able to relate to some of the findings of the 2019 Travelers Risk Index. The Travelers Companies surveyed more than 2,000 executives and consumers about distracted driving before bringing its results together.

Forty-four percent of those who were surveyed admitted to sending texts or emails behind the wheel while 23 and 22 percent admitted to using social media and taking pictures or recording videos respectively. Fifteen percent said they shopped online while driving. Five percent said it would be hard to break this habit of online shopping while 13 percent said the same for reading texts and emails.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said they either forget to set their smartphones to Do Not Disturb or find it too inconvenient. Only 12 percent said they do this, and only 18 percent of businesses encourage their workers to do so. Sixteen percent did not speak up when they were in a vehicle with a distracted driver. However, 54 percent said if someone asked them to, they would stop driving distracted.

The culture of connectivity pressures many people to engage in distracted driving. Eighty-seven percent of employers said they expect to be connected with their employees even outside the office. Twenty percent said they answer work-related messages because they are afraid to upset their boss. Seventeen percent get lots of work done while driving.

Smartphone use does not constitute the only distraction, of course. Drivers can become inattentive through eating and drinking or even talking with passengers. Victims of distracted driving who are left with permanent bodily injuries may be able to pursue a personal injury case after filing with their own insurance company. Since they will need to prove the other side's negligence, they may want to retain legal representation. A lawyer may prove helpful during the negotiation phase too.

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