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2019 Travelers Risk Index sheds light on distracted driving

After surveying more than 2,000 consumers and executives on the subject of distracted driving, the Travelers Companies gathered its findings in its 2019 Travelers Risk Index. Those findings, a sample of which is given below, may interest drivers in New York.

Texting and sending emails was the most frequently cited activity that distracted drivers with 44 percent of the respondents admitting to doing it. This was followed by social media use, taking pictures and shopping online. Thirteen percent of respondents said they would find it hard to quit reading texts or emails behind the wheel while 19 percent said they would continue to drive distracted even if that meant breaking the law.

The Do Not Disturb feature on smartphones has gotten little use. Thirty-five percent say they forget to use it or find it too inconvenient while 41 percent actively choose not to use it. Only 18 percent of workplaces advise their employees to use it, though three in four have a distracted driving policy in place. Conversations seem to have a greater effect since 54 percent say they would stop driving distracted if someone told them to.

Twenty percent say they feel pressured into answering work-related messages behind the wheel. Half of those same respondents report that they are required to always be available. Correspondingly, 87 percent of employers expect their workers to be reachable outside the office.

Distracted driving car accidents can result in serious injuries, pain and suffering, vehicle damage and more. Victims who are deemed less responsible for the crash than the other party may file a third-party insurance claim, though restrictions apply since New York is a no-fault state. If someone hires a lawyer, he or she may be able to build up the case with the help of investigators and other third parties. An attorney may then see if the defendant's insurer is willing to negotiate.

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