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How ‘optimism bias’ leads to accidents

| Aug 30, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

The next time you see someone texting in traffic, consider what they must be thinking. Surely, they know that texting and driving causes accidents. Maybe they don’t know the exact statistics, but they know that the risk of an accident goes up when they choose to do it. That doesn’t stop them. Why not?

Odds are, the reason is that they think that it will not happen to them. This is often called “optimism bias” and it’s something many people suffer from. They know that bad things happen, but they think someone else will suffer those negative outcomes and they’ll be fine. They think the texting driver who crashes will be one lane over and the passenger who loses their life will be in another car.

There may also be an element of arrogance. People think they are better drivers than they are and better than most other people.

In one study, people were asked if they thought their own driving skills were above average. Some 80% to 90% of them claimed that they were. Statistically, that’s an impossibility. It means that many below-average drivers do not know that they are below-average. They think that they’re above average.

Many of these drivers probably think they can text and drive safely. They assume it’s someone else who will cause a crash.

If you get hit by a driver who is suffering from these delusions and driving negligently as a result, you should seek the financial compensation you need for your medical bills and other costs and damages. It may be wise to seek legal guidance.