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Exactly how dangerous is distracted driving, anyways?

While the vast majority of motorists across the state of California understand how dangerous drunk driving can be, far fewer drivers fully recognize the dangers associated with distracted driving. You, like so many people across the country, may spend hours in your car in any given week and likely even engage in a number of minor tasks while driving. Understanding what distracted driving is, and how hazardous it can be, can go a long way to promote safety for you and your entire family.

According to distraction.gov, a distracted driver is anyone who continues to drive while engaging in another activity. Texting is one form of distraction that has gained a considerable amount of scrutiny in recent years as cell phone use continues to increase, but a number of other everyday activities also contribute to distracted driving dangers. You may be engaging in distracted driving if you do any of these things behind the wheel of your car:

  • Eat and/or drink
  • Use a GPS system
  • Talk to passengers
  • Use a cell phone

And while just about every driver can be accused of distracted driving at some point, the pervasive nature of the issue contributes to the severity of related accident incidents. The number of distracted-driving injury incidents increased by approximately 9 percent in 2012, and it was estimated that 3,328 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents that year alone. Of fatal accident victims, it is also believed that a little over 25 percent were in their 20s. It is also important to note that using a cell phone headset is not as safe as you may believe.

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