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Emergency vehicles at risk from distracted drivers

Distracted driving can be a serious threat on Illinois roadways, and most drivers are familiar with public awareness campaigns against texting while driving. While people may expect that the presence of an emergency vehicle would cause drivers to put down their phones and pay more attention, one study indicates that the opposite is true. It indicates that 71% of American drivers take photos and videos with their mobile phones when they see emergency vehicles.

The study, which was released as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, indicated that distracted behaviors may be even more dangerous than people realize. A majority of participants said that they make a social media post when they see an emergency vehicle. The respondents affirmed that they did so while behind the wheel. Without an emergency vehicle in sight, 24% said that they took photos and videos behind the wheel.

Around 16% of the survey participants recalled that they had a car accident or a near-miss involving an emergency vehicle. Interestingly, despite the high levels of distraction reported by drivers, 89% said that distracted driving posed a risk to first responders on the road. Surveys regarding distracted driving have shown that drivers tend to exempt their own distraction from an understanding of its dangers.

First responders and emergency vehicles are only some of those at risk of being hurt by distracted drivers. Car crashes caused by distracted driving can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. Someone who has been hurt in a collision can work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their damages.

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