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Study finds drivers using phones in different ways

According to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are using their phones less often to make calls. However, this doesn't mean that drivers in California have put their phones away completely. Instead, individuals are more likely to send an email or a text message while a car is in motion. Specifically, research shows that a driver is 57 percent more likely to be seen texting or emailing as opposed to making a call.

The study data came from both 2014 and 2018 reports of drivers in four areas in Virginia. It observed drivers both while their cars were moving as well as when they were stopped. According to takeaways from other researchers, holding a phone while driving increases the likelihood of a crash by 66 percent. This means that up to 800 people could have been killed by those who were texting or otherwise using a device for purposes other than making a phone call.

One of the authors of the study pointed out that cellphones aren't the only distraction drivers face: They are also likely to be distracted by talking to their children or drinking a coffee in their vehicles. Traffic fatalities related to distracted driving account for about 10 percent of all traffic deaths. However, researchers say that this figure could be too conservative.

Distracted drivers who cause car accidents may be seen as negligent in doing so. Therefore, injured victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. This compensation might help to pay medical bills or make up for lost wages as well as to repair or replace items lost in the accident. Cases may be resolved through a settlement or a trial with an attorney's assistance.

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