Are You Guilty of Distracted Driving?
In spite of all the laws against distracted driving, especially talking on your cell phones or texting while driving, people continue to get behind the wheel of the car and “drive under the influence”…the influence of distractions.
Driving a car is serious business, lives are at stake, and it should be taken seriously. Accidents are becoming more and more frequent due to the inattention of drivers, in fact,
- It’s estimated that each day, 9 or more people are killed in accidents caused by drivers who are distracted.
- About 1 in 4 auto accidents are caused by texting and driving.
- Although drinking and driving is a terrible offense, you are 6 times more likely to be in a texting related accident.
- If you are driving 55 mph, and you take your eyes off the road even 5 seconds (for whatever reason) you will have traveled the length of a football field not seeing where you’ve been, where you’re going or what is coming your way.
- If you’re driving and texting, and in an accident that is actually the other person’s fault… if you hadn’t been distracted at the time, chances are you could have avoided the crash.
- Sadly, even though people understand the risks of texting and driving, they do it anyway.
Driving Distracted is more than just using your cell phone:
Any time you take your eyes or full attention off the road, you are being distracted…
- Playing with or trying to control your canine friend
- Changing the music on your radio
- Women – applying makeup
- Men – shaving
- Taking pictures, especially selfies
- Drinking or eating
- Reaching for something on the floor or in the back seat
- Having too much fun with your passengers
- Checking a map or your GPS
Distracted drivers can be anyone…
Just recently, on a busy highway, a lady was involved in a 4-car accident. She and 3 other cars were stopped at a stop light, when there was a loud crash, and all three of the cars went flying into each other. A policeman who was traveling about 50 mph and was apparently distracted, didn’t slow down and hit car #3, who hit car #2 who then hit car #1. The occupants of all 3 cars, and the police officer suffered extreme whiplash and all the cars were damaged. I’m going to give the police officer the benefit of the doubt that he was distracted by official business, but he was distracted nevertheless…it can happen to anyone behind the wheel of a car…you may think it won’t happen to you, but it can happen in the blink of an eye, anywhere, anytime.
If you are a parent of a teenage driver, make sure they understand how important it is to always be aware of what’s going on around them, and to leave their electronic devices put away while driving. You may even consider writing up a safe driver contract between you and them, in fact you should commit to the same rules.
Below is a great info graphic provided by Allstate Insurance that highlights driving distracted behavior….
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