Travelers survey reveals numerous factors in driver distraction

The Travelers Companies, an insurance provider, has issued its 2019 Travelers Risk Index. What it has to say about distracted driving, based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers and executives, should be of interest to drivers in Michigan. First, the most frequently cited forms of distraction were sending texts and emails at 44 percent, using social media at 23 percent and taking photographs or recording videos at 22 percent.

Many drivers say they find it hard to break these habits while 19 percent say they will continue to drive distracted even when it’s against the law. Forty-one percent actively choose not to set their phones to Do Not Disturb whereas 35 percent say they either forget to do it or find it inconvenient. Workplaces are doing little to alter this: Just 18 percent advise employees to set their phones to Do Not Disturb.

Workplace accountability played a significant role in distraction among workers. Eighty-seven percent of employers expect their employees to be reachable outside the office. Twenty percent of employees said they answer work-related messages because they are afraid of upsetting their boss.

Though 54 percent claimed they would stop driving distracted if asked to, 16 percent of consumers said they never speak up when riding with a distracted driver. Lastly, over 30 percent admitted to being in a near-collision because of distractions.

When distracted drivers cause car accidents, their auto insurance companies will likely have to face a claim from the victims. Insurers have their own legal team to fight against such claims, which is why victims may want a lawyer for their case. The lawyer may bring in investigators to show how the defendant was distracted; this might involve phone records, eyewitness testimony and other proof. The lawyer may then be able to negotiate for a fair settlement or take the case to court.