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The dangers of distracted driving are real: How to help

As a driver, you should never take for granted your safety behind the wheel. Mindful driving at all times needs to be the rule, with zero exceptions.

The dangers of distracted driving are very serious, so you should never do anything to put your health and well-being at risk, which likewise imperils others on the road.

With the popularity of mobile devices on the rise, distracted driving will remain a problem into the future. Furthermore, there are other types of distractions that are just as dangerous, including but not limited to eating, drinking, smoking, conversing with passengers and adjusting vehicle controls.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, approximately 391,000 people were injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a distraction in 2015 alone. This doesn't even take into consideration the nearly 3,500 people who were killed in the same type of crash.

Can you help?

The best way to help is to avoid distractions when driving. As difficult as it may be, you need to remain focused at all times. Also, here are some additional tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe:

  • Show that it's important: Rather than talk to others about the importance of safe driving, show them. For example, if you're driving with your teen, don't get into the habit of texting or talking on your phone. This sets a bad example.
  • Set rules: This comes into play if you have children of driving age, such as a teen who recently obtained their license. Let them know that distracted driving is a big no-no. When they realize the seriousness they're less likely to go down this path.
  • Understand the law: Most states are cracking down on distracted driving, as they've come to realize just how dangerous it is. So, even if you aren't involved in an accident, distracted driving could still result in a fine and/or other penalty.

There is no denying the dangers of distracted driving. While you do your best to avoid trouble, don't assume that other drivers are as cautious.

If a distracted driver causes a crash, move to safety and call for help. Let the responding officer write up a report while you receive medical care. Once you're feeling better, contact your insurance company, review the police report and decide on the best way to hold the negligent driver responsible.

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