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Pay attention: April is Distracted Driving Month

You see it across Illinois and Missouri: drivers paying attention to their phones rather than to streets and traffic. Far too often the results of distracted driving are motor vehicle crashes and injuries.

When a distracted driver is behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer, the risk of serious injuries and fatalities is even greater. New studies show that despite efforts of law enforcement and lawmakers, distracted driving is getting worse.

Because April is Distracted Driving Month, we're going to try to help readers more fully appreciate the risks they pose to themselves, their passengers and other motorists whenever they text and drive or talk on their phones while driving.

According to an analysis of 65 million vehicle trips by Cambridge Mobile Telematics, 36 percent of all motor vehicle trips in the nation involve distracted driving. That's up 5 percent in just the past year.

"People are more addicted" to their phones, the Cambridge vice president of marketing.

Finder US backs that assertion with its survey of 2.001 American adults. Forty-three percent of those surveyed said they talk on their phone while driving.

The data indicates that older drivers are more prone to concentrate on the road and traffic than younger drivers. Forty-six percent of Baby Boomers say they concentrate on their driving, while only 35 percent of millennials said the same. It's remarkable that in both cases, less than half of those surveyed said that their focus while behind the wheel is on driving.

A trucking industry publication conceded that distracted driving is a growing problem among truckers. Research shows that of the truckers who are observed to be distracted, the worst 25 percent "are much more likely to engage in dangerous driving behavior."

Those truckers are 87 percent more likely to drive their big rigs above the speed limit, 83 percent more likely to roll through stop signs and red lights (putting pedestrians especially in danger) and 36 percent more likely to be involved in near-collisions.

Those injured in a truck accident can speak with an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation.

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