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Did you know that 1 out 4 car accidents in the United States are caused by texting and driving? Knowing that it’s no wonder that states are cracking down on distracted drivers. While 98% of adults say they know texting and driving is unsafe, 48% still do it anyways. Here are the facts that you need to know about distracted driving and what you can do to prevent becoming another distracted driving statistic.
There are three types of distracted driving:
Distracted driving doesn’t just include texting. It can include eating, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, watching a video, using a GPS system, and much more. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field.
The short answer is yes. Most states have a law on the books, or an upcoming law, that bans drivers from texting. Many states have also begun to push for hands-free driving, which prevents a driver from even touching their phone. If caught using a device drivers may be subject to fines and points on their license. Some states are beginning to push for bans on eating while driving. While it may not be illegal yet, it’s a practice you may want to avoid.
To see what is illegal in your state check out this link for distracted driving laws.
Just by having your phone within reach it’s incredibly tempting to take a peek every time it vibrates or rings. Keep your phone in your bag, in the back seat, in the glove compartment, or anywhere where you can’t touch your phone. If you must use your phone, such as during an emergency, pull over and bring your car to a complete stop.
While most states prohibit teen drivers from having other teens in the car, drivers with decades of experience can be also distracted by activity within the car. Limit the number of passengers in the car, or discourage passengers from being loud, rowdy, or distracting.
With millions of Americans constantly on the go, it can be tempting to eat in the car to save time, but it can be incredibly dangerous. Drivers who eat or drink are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident. Finish your breakfast before heading out on your morning commute.
Whether you are looking for the right radio station, typing an address into the GPS, or calming down your child or pet, avoid doing any of these while driving. Focus on the road and pull over if you need to put your attention on anything other than the road. Even call over Bluetooth can be distracting as you get engrossed in your conversation.
While lawmakers are beginning to see the severity of distracted driving it is ultimately in the hands of every single driver to commit to not engage in distracted driving. Take a moment to consider the dangers of distracted driving, then consider committing to the “Just Drive” movement. Don’t become another victim of distracted driving. Put the phone down and just drive.