Modern electronic devices are great. We stay in touch with our world, with our friends. However, when it takes us away from paying close attention to important things, like driving, then we need to pick and choose when to be “connected.”
Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can also increase the chances of a motor vehicle crash. It runs the gamut of sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system, and eating while driving, among others.
We laugh at the online videos of people staring into their cell phones as they walk right into a fountain, oblivious of their surroundings. It’s not funny at all, when you are staring at your phone and you cause a car wreck because you weren’t watching traffic.
It is reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured each day in the United States due to crashes that involve a distracted driver.
Simply taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds, taking your hands off the wheel, and anything which takes your mind off driving. They all can contribute to distracted driving and endanger the lives of yourself and others around you.
Texting while driving is especially dangerous. Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field while driving at 55 mph. Many states have public service campaigns you’ve seen or heard about. Most notable of these is the “It Can Wait” campaign. Basically, it says that no phone call or text is so important that it risks your life. Wait until you can pull off to the side of the road safely, and then talk or text. In addition, many states and cities are starting to ban cell phone use while driving altogether, unless it is used “hands free”. However, even with a “hands-free” device, there is still a measure of risk in distraction while driving.
So, don’t be “That Guy” or “That Girl” and drive responsibly to keep your life and others safe.
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