People often cite public speaking as their top fear. For years, it's ranked at the top of the list, especially with young people who may have to give speeches in high school or college.

One study, though, shows that there's a brand new fear at the top of that list: dangerous drivers. The survey was carried out on the internet, giving it a broad reach. For those who are between 16 years old and 34 years old, dangerous drivers in other vehicles were the most common fear.

The Top 5

Public speaking still ranked very highly, coming in second in the survey. After that was death, at No. 3, and then spiders and snakes.

Of course, there are links here. The reason that many people fear dangerous drivers is also that they fear death, and there is this sense that another reckless driver could take a life or cause serious injuries through no fault of their own. That fear is warranted. Human error causes most car accidents, and there's often little you can do if another car runs a red light, fails to stop in time and rear-ends your car in traffic, or starts driving the wrong way down the interstate. These accidents take innocent lives every year.

New Fears

The vice president of Penn Schoen Berland, which carried out the study, noted that it was significant that young people had these fears, as they were different from the fears of previous generations. For example, he said that distracted drivers strongly contributed. The previous generation didn't have to deal with drivers who were distracted by smartphones and GPS systems, but technological advancements -- for all the help they can provide -- have also increased risks. Young people have certainly noticed.

Seeking Compensation

As noted above, many accidents caused by distracted or dangerous drivers can't be avoided by the victims. It's important for those who are hurt to know if they can seek financial compensation.

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