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Study: memes, other social media a source of driver distraction

More and more drivers in Missouri and across the U.S. are using smartphones and other mobile devices behind the wheel. If the nearly 2,000 U.S. drivers who responded to an online study from Wakefield Research provide an accurate representation of distracted driving trends, then it seems that ignorance has little to do with this behavior.

In the study, nearly half of all drivers said that distracted driving is their top concern on the road. Nearly 100% say that phone use is among the top three potential distractions that a driver can engage in. Despite this knowledge, respondents admitted to using their phones for an average of 13 minutes a day behind the wheel. Moreover, almost two in five said that the sight of law enforcement does not compel them to stop using their phones.

Among phone-related distractions, group chats were the most frequently cited with mentions from 52% of respondents. This was followed by social media, including news feeds and memes (33%). Lastly, 18% said that they would often take their eyes from the road to watch videos like shows and movie trailers.

Respondents were found to be critical of others who exhibit behavior similar to theirs. For example, 89% said they would leave a bad rating on any ride-hailing operator who texted while driving.

Drivers know that they have a duty to maintain control over their vehicles at all times. When they fail to do this, they will be blamed for any collisions they cause. An auto insurance company may have to deal with a car accident case. To see if they have good grounds for a case under Missouri’s rule of comparative negligence, a crash victim may consider consulting with a lawyer. The lawyer could even try to hire third parties to obtain evidence against the defendant.