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Distracted drivers are hazardous to others on the road

Drivers who are on the road have to be able to give their full attention to their driving duties. When they don't, everyone else around them is at risk of being involved in an accident. One of the best ways that drivers can prevent these tragedies is to simply leave everything except driving alone.

One of the biggest distractions that drivers face is their cellphones. Using them takes more than just one of the systems that the body needs to drive safely. Even a short text can cause serious problems.

Inattention blindness

Drivers using cellphones can suffer from inattention blindness. This means that they can look at something but not actually see it because their minds are on the phone. Accidents can occur because it seems like the person is paying attention to what is going on, but, in reality, the mind isn't registering what is going on. It is estimated that a driver who is on the phone will see everything going on but only about 50 percent of the information is processed.

Short distractions can kill

The average person spends about five seconds reading or writing a text. Even though this might seem like a very short time, it is plenty long enough for the driver to cause an accident. In a traffic jam, a five second look at the phone could lead to the driver rear ending the person in front of one's car. Moving at highway speeds of 55 miles per hour, the vehicle will travel the full length of a standard football field in that very short timeframe. This is plenty of distance to hit another vehicle or slam into a guardrail.

A compounded problem

In some instances, driver distraction isn't the only contributing factor to an accident. Sometimes, other factors like speeding or impairment, also come into the picture. These compounded incidents are deadly because they involve more than one risky behavior. Drivers who are taking these types of risks shouldn't be on the roads.

Preventing these behaviors

While laws are being passed to address these risky behaviors, accidents can still happen. Public service announcements are letting drivers know the dangers that come with distracted, drunk or reckless driving. Unfortunately, some drivers who engage in these behaviors think that they aren't impacted in the same way that others are. This can lead to accidents that claim lives or cause serious injuries. Ultimately, many victims are left suffering because of an accident that could have been prevented.

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