Kline Legal Group P.L.C.

Root Insurance study: distracted driving is a nationwide issue

Root Insurance, a company that provides insurance discounts to drivers who avoid phone use behind the wheel, has recently unveiled the results of its second annual distracted driving study. What Michigan residents should know is that ignorance is not the reason for high distracted driving rates: Many engage in it while knowing it is wrong.

For example, 47% of respondents said that distracted driving is a top concern for them when on the road, and 99% placed phone use among the top three distractions. Yet respondents admitted to using their phones for an average of 13 minutes each day behind the wheel. In its 2019 Focused Driving Report, Root Insurance found that Generation Z drivers, who are 18 to 24 years old, can be especially distracted, using their phones about 20 times per 100 miles traveled.

The most common phone-related distractions were as follows: 52% admitted to being distracted by group chats, 33% by social media such as newsfeeds and 18% by streaming videos. Other frequently reported distractions included grooming, playing with a pet and changing clothes.

Respondents tended to criticize others for the same distracting behavior they themselves exhibit. Just under 90% said they would give bad ratings to Uber or Lyft drivers who texted while driving, and 90% considered themselves superior drivers to Uber or Lyft employees.

Distracted driving is a form of negligence since all drivers are responsible for keeping control over their vehicles. When distractions contribute to a car accident, those who are injured may be able to file a third-party insurance claim. Michigan being a no-fault insurance state, there are limitations as to who can file such a claim, so victims may want to discuss their situation with a lawyer. The lawyer may speak on victims' behalf at the negotiation table or in court.

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