Drivers in Florida and across the U.S. are using their cell phones to text and send emails more frequently than they did a few years ago, according to a new study. The study, which was released on Jan. 24, was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In order to obtain the findings, IIHS researchers compared observational surveys conducted in 2014 and 2018. The surveys monitored the cell phone activities of drivers stopped at red lights in four different cities in Northern Virginia. The researchers found that drivers who were observed in the 2018 survey were 57 percent more likely to use their cell phones to text, email or complete other activities that required manipulating their device than drivers who were observed in 2014. However, the 2018 drivers were less likely than their 2014 counterparts to use their cell phones to make a call. The study didn't find evidence that distracted driving incidents increased between the 2014 and 2018 surveys.
The authors of the study said that the results indicate that people are using their cell phones in riskier ways while behind the wheel. Multiple studies have shown that manipulating cell phones while driving can significantly increase the risk of a crash. In fact, one recent study found that manipulating a cell phone increased the risk of a car accident by 66 percent. According to the IIHS, that means that over 800 U.S. traffic fatalities in 2017 were likely caused by drivers manipulating cell phones while on the road.
Individuals who are injured in distracted driving car accidents often suffer serious injuries. In order to recover medical expenses and other losses, it may be necessary for injured victims to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the crash. An attorney familiar with car crash claims could help file the lawsuit and push for a fair settlement.