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What is distracted driving and what are the dangers of it?

Many drivers may not think twice about checking their cell phones or typing out a quick text while driving, but distractions on the road can lead to serious accidents.

Distracted driving causes deadly crashes and other injuries, as well as loss of property and the possible destruction of your car.

Kinds of distractions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distractions can encompass more than just cell phones. In-car entertainment systems, personal grooming habits or even tablets and radios can all sufficiently capture your attention enough to cause an accident. Eating and drinking while driving can also lead to you losing control of your car.

Impact on your safety

Although some people may assume they can multitask on open highways, your full attention should be on the road at all times. Concentrating on any distraction uses your visual, cognitive and manual senses at the same time.

You interrupt your cognitive ability to focus solely on one task every time you reach for your phone or other device, since you are splitting your concentration between the device and the road. This also impacts your manual ability to steer with both hands and what you are looking at visually. Reaction time is extremely important while operating a vehicle, and distracting yourself greatly reduces how quickly you can react to dangers.

Trouble on the road

Sudden obstacles, such as pedestrians or stopped cars, can appear at any time. Changing lanes without warning or turning sharply confuses other drivers and increases your likelihood for an accident. Even a few seconds between your first glance down and looking back up can make the difference when it comes to avoiding a crash.

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