A LOOK AT DISTRACTED DRIVING AND WHY IT IS SO DANGEROUS

Distracted driving is a huge problem in this country. Despite the fact that Tennessee has laws against it, people continue to do it, putting themselves and others at risk. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, a recent study found that drivers who are distracted behind the wheel are twice as likely to be involved in a crash.

The study took place over three years and involved 3,500 drivers. During its course, there were over 900 serious motor vehicle crashes and it was found that distracted driving played a part in 68 percent of them.

The study also looked at what kind of behaviors were distracting and put drivers most at risk. Texting and smartphone use are perhaps one the biggest distracted behaviors that people regularly engage in. Interestingly, people were less likely to get into an accident when a child was riding in the car. Also, tailgating and putting on makeup were not found to increase a driver’s chance of being in a collision. However, interacting with passengers, reaching for objects and attempting to read or write did significantly increase the chances of being a crash. Human emotions were also found to affect how people drive, in that people who were crying, distraught or angry were also distracted.

All of these behaviors require a driver to take their eyes and minds off the road, and in some circumstances their hands off the wheel. According to Distraction.gov, a person texting while driving takes their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. That is basically like driving the entire length of a football field at 55 miles per hour wearing a blindfold. Texting is particularly prevalent among drivers between the ages of 16 and 24.

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