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Holiday shoppers bring even more dangers to the highways

You may remember a shopping season when you found an item on sale that you could not resist. You made the purchase on impulse, and it may have been a good or a bad decision. You are not alone if you have had the experience of allowing a bargain or a unique item lure you into an ill-advised purchase. Perhaps the stress and crush of the holiday season makes it more likely you will make this mistake.

One mistake more consumers are making is shopping online while they drive. This extreme form of distracted driving is an activity almost 40% of surveyed drivers admits to doing in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Since you cannot always know which Florida drivers around you are shopping behind the wheel, it is a hazard you may not have the ability to avoid.

Disregard for your wellbeing

As if it wasn't bad enough to have drivers texting, making calls, programming their GPS and changing the selection on their music apps, a growing number of consumers do their holiday shopping while they are driving. In fact, drivers are mobile shopping 4% more than last year at this time, meaning that two of every five drivers will do any of the following while operating a vehicle:

  • Scrolling through a website looking for a particular item
  • Checking their emails or their accounts on a store's website to determine the status of their orders
  • Browsing for gift items that catch their eye
  • Looking to see if an online item is also available in-store
  • Searching for sales or coupons for certain items

Perhaps most frightening is that some drivers complete an entire purchase transaction while operating a motor vehicle. This includes sending items to their virtual shopping carts, verifying their shipping addresses, filling in credit card information and completing the sale. The amount of time a driver must take his or her eyes from the road is more than enough for a tragedy to occur.

Who is responsible?

Some consumer advocates suggest that retailers have some culpability for any accidents that may occur while a driver is shopping online because they create situations that place pressure on the consumer to act quickly. However, if you are the victim of an accident resulting from another driver's distraction, you may reject that reasoning.

Drivers who use a mobile device while driving are negligent and dangerous. Since you are the one who is left to suffer the consequences, you may find it is worth it to consult with an attorney about your options for pursuing the compensation you deserve.

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