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Distracted Driving: A Dangerous Habit

Using technology is second nature to most of us. It’s integrated into every facet of our world, and we appreciate the way it enhances and enriches our lives on a daily basis. It’s so ingrained into our daily routine that it’s almost a guarantee you’ll see the driver next to you glance at their phone; the driver in front of you fiddle with a GPS; or, the driver behind you eat a cheeseburger while driving.

It’s easy to just brush off this behavior as part of normal driving activities. But when you consider the dangerous consequences, it becomes clear there’s more at stake than an autocorrect typo while texting as you turn, or some mustard dripped on your shirt from an on-the-go lunch.

Here’s what the statistics say about distracted driving risks:

  • Texting while driving? Your chance of an accident increases 23 times, even if the accident isn’t caused by you.
  • Just talking on the phone? You’re still 2.2 times more likely to crash.
  • Eating a sandwich? Drivers drinking or eating while operating a vehicle are 3.6 times more likely to crash.

In the news today, you’re more likely to hear about distracted driving in relation to texting or general cell phone use. But distracted driving comes in many forms:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off the task of driving

Whether you’re trying to referee fighting children in the backseat, respond to an email, or dig in your bag for a buried item, anything that takes your attention off the road can be hazardous to both you and other drivers.

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So, what can be done to mitigate your risk? Here are a few simple tips to help you avert disaster and focus on driving:

#JustDriveKC Tip #1: PULL OVER.
If you must use your phone, update your GPS, or take care of your child while driving, pull over. Schedule breaks for longer drives.

#JustDriveKC Tip #2: GET A RIDE.
Consider employing a service like a taxi, Uber or Lyft to free you from the need to focus on the road.

#JustDriveKC Tip #3: KNOW WHAT DISTRACTED DRIVING DOES TO YOUR ATTENTION.
Studies have shown that distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. Simply being aware of the risks can help you keep your attention where it’s needed: on the road.

At Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott, we’ve seen firsthand the devastation distracted driving causes to individuals and families. By taking a stand against distracted driving, you’re not only protecting yourself but also everyone on the road. For more resources and information, visit Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott’s #JustDriveKC page or search and use hashtag #JustDriveKC to join the movement to end distracted driving.

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