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Are drivers without passengers more likely to be on the phone?

It is a fact of life that people generally act differently when they are alone than when others are around. So, there are some things drivers might be much more likely to do when they are by themselves. A recent study suggests that using a cellphone while driving is among these things.

The study investigated how driver willingness to check a cellphone when driving varied based on situation. The study found that around 30 percent of drivers are willing to engage in this conduct when they have a child as a passenger. For driving with passengers generally, the percentage went up a little bit, rising to 36 percent.

The percentage shot up considerably when it came to driving without passengers. Willingness to go to their phones while driving by themselves was found to be something just a little short of two-thirds (64 percent) of drivers have.

So, it appears drivers might be particularly susceptible to falling to the temptation to use their cellphone while driving when no one else is in their vehicle. It is important for drivers to remember that, just because there is no one else in their vehicle doesn’t mean that how they act behind the wheel can’t have major impacts on others. Solo drivers acting unsafely, such as being distracted behind the wheel, could lead to accidents which harm occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians.

Another thing worth noting is that driving alone doesn’t have a monopoly on special distracted driving risks. Driving with passengers can have its own such risks, such as the temptation to be distracted by conversations with passengers.

It is important for drivers here in New York state to recognize that each particular driving situation can have its own unique distracted driving risks and that different driving situations might call for different kinds of distracted driving prevention measures by them.

What do you think are the best ways to steer clear of distracted driving when driving alone? How about when driving with passengers?

Source: Fox17, “New study: Driving alone, we check the phone,” Erica Francis, Sept. 7, 2016

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