How dangerous is distracted driving?

Poor behaviors behind the wheel greatly increase the risk of collision. This is especially true when it comes to texting while driving, which is a major issue that is unfortunately common among motorists.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving caused the deaths of 3,142 people in just 2019 alone. Here are a few facts about this dangerous driving habit, and how motorists can avoid it.

Types of distracted driving

Texting while driving is most serious, as it causes you to take your eyes off the road while you compose or read a message. For example, during the five seconds it takes to write a text, you are missing the length of an entire football field if you are traveling at 55 mph.

Of course, there are many other distractions that can also contribute to serious crashes. Talking with passengers, adjusting the radio or GPS, eating or drinking, and other behaviors are also problematic. Even daydreaming is dangerous, as it takes your mind off the task at hand.

What you can about driving distractions

Teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to driving distractions. Make sure you set a good example for your children by always paying attention to the road while driving. You can also encourage them to emphasize safe driving with their friends or peers, which can have a positive impact.

Additionally, if you encounter a distracted driver on the road, keep your distance. Maintain a safe speed suited to the road conditions and leave at least a two-second cushion between yourself and other vehicles. Doing so ensures you can respond quickly if a problem arises.

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