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Study finds drivers distracted by cellphones, makeup and pets

A new study finds that drivers in Pittsburgh and across the U.S. frequently use their cellphones while behind the wheel, but they don't like it when other drivers engage in the same distracting activity. The study was funded by Root Insurance and conducted by Wakefield Research.

The study found that 47% of drivers name distracted driving as their top traffic safety concern. It also found that 99% of drivers say mobile devices are one of the top three distractions to U.S. drivers. However, those opinions don't stop the study's participants from using cellphones behind the wheel. In fact, drivers admit that they spend an average of 13 minutes each day using their phones while driving. That adds up to 91 minutes every week. In addition, 38% of drivers who talk or type on their phone behind the wheel don't even put them down when they encounter law enforcement officers. Despite admitting to this behavior, the study found that drivers don't like the thought of other drivers engaging in distracted driving. For instance, 89% say they would give an Uber or Lyft driver a bad review if he or she used a cellphone while behind the wheel.

Of the drivers who use their cellphones while operating a vehicle, 52% say that text and email group chats are the most distracting, 33% say that social media posts are the most distracting, and 18% say that video streaming is the most distracting. Meanwhile, 18% of drivers say they are guilty of doing their hair or makeup behind the wheel, 13% say they are guilty of playing with a pet, and 12% say they are guilty of changing their clothes.

Car accidents caused by distracted driving may result in catastrophic injuries that require expensive medical treatments. Victims of such accidents may be able to find relief by discussing their case with an attorney. After reviewing the details of the accident, legal counsel might recommend filing a personal injury claim.

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