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Who are people talking to when they drive distracted?

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, distracted driving is not only illegal in Texas, it is also very unsafe and leads to serious personal injury. A Killeen resident who engages in this sort of behavior, even if he only takes his eyes off of the road for a second or two, runs the risk of causing a fatal car accident or, at least, an accident that leaves a victim seriously injured.

Nevertheless, Texans and those across the country seem unable to resist the urge to pick up their cell phones and try to talk without a hands-free device, or, perhaps worse, send a text. Statistics from a recent survey suggest that in most cases, someone who is texting and driving is communicating with his or her spouse or significant other. People are also very likely to communicate behind the wheel with their children and with close friends.

Despite the fact that fewer people communicate with professional colleagues while driving, many employees suggested that they text and drive because they don't want to miss out on an important message from work or force their boss to wait on them to respond.

Speaking more generally, over 60 percent of respondents said that the reason they text and drive is because they do not want to miss an emergency communication, suggesting that many people use their phones in the car because they are worried about someone or something. Almost 1 in 4 respondents said that they check their phones out of fear of missing out.

The bottom line seems to be that people are still willing to take the risk of texting and driving because they believe the alternative is worse. For this reason, holding a distracted driver financially accountable after an accident may serve to reinforce the point that no personal or professional crisis is worth putting one's own life, as well as the lives of others, at risk while on the road.

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