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Distracted driving grows around emergency vehicles

Many Missouri motorists know that distracted driving is dangerous. Legal changes to outlaw texting while driving and public awareness campaigns have drawn attention to the threat of fatal accidents linked to distraction behind the wheel. Nevertheless, surveys continue to indicate that while drivers know that distraction can be deadly, they continue to engage in the process and believe that they are in control of their own behavior.

While many expect that emergency vehicles would discourage distracted driving, one survey indicates that motorists are even more distracted when they are present. This puts first responders and others at risk of a serious accident. The study, released as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, indicated that 60 percent of respondents said that they post on social media when they see an emergency vehicle. They take videos and photos to share with friends, whether they see a vehicle performing a traffic stop or rushing toward an accident. Absent the presence of an emergency vehicle, 24 percent of the respondents said that they take videos and photos while behind the wheel and 29 percent admitted to posting on social media while driving.

Around 16 percent of the participants said that they had either crashed into an emergency vehicle themselves or had a near miss. Despite reporting their own risky behavior, however, 89 percent of the respondents said that they agreed that distracted driving poses a major threat to first responders' safety.

Distracted driving continues to pose a risk, leading to severe accidents and catastrophic injuries. People who have been hurt in a car accident linked to negligent driving can seek out a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their lost wages, medical bills, and other damages.

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