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It Can Wait: Hundreds Of Thousands Injured Annually In Crashes Involving Distracted Drivers

NHTSA warns about the dangers of distracted driving
NHTSA warns about the dangers of distracted driving Photo Credit: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is spreading awareness about the dangers of distracted driving by releasing the accident, injury, and fatality statistics from previous years.

According to the administration, 3,450 fatalities occurred in 2016 as a result of distracted driving. And it should come as no surprise that mobile device use, i.e., texting while driving, is the biggest cause of distractions, with teens having the biggest risk.

The NHTSA states that reading just one text takes your eyes off the road for a full five seconds. If you’re driving at 55 mph, that’s equal to driving “the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.”

Fortunately, there are a growing number of features to reduce the risk of mobile-phone related distracted driving. Many devices now come with a “Do Not Disturb” feature that sends an auto response to those who send a text message to someone behind the wheel. The automated message will say something like, “I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on. I’ll see your message when I get where I’m going.”

In any case, it’s up to each driver to have personal accountability when it comes to staying safe and focused on the road. Remember: whatever it is, it can wait.

For more information about the causes and prevention methods associated with distracted driving, click here .

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