Distracted driving is unfortunately increasing as drivers are preoccupied while driving on the road. Distracted driving counts as any behavior where the driver is unable to dedicate his/her full attention to the road. While the use of cellphones is at the peak of the list, other behaviors include eating and drinking, talking to people in the car, and/or playing with the stereo or navigation system. Texting while driving is extremely dangerous, yet drivers can’t seem to put their cell phones down until they reach their destination. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,450 lives were lost on United States roads in 2016, which was a 5.6% increase from 2015. While all age groups are guilty of distracted driving, the fatal accident rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers that are 20 years of age and older. Many drivers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, but still put themselves and other drivers on the road in danger. Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for a minimum of 5 seconds, which is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Within those 5 seconds, anything can happen on the road: an animal or pedestrian can decide to cross, the car in front of you can stop short, or a light can change.
Change needs to occur in order to save lives and prevent injuries, but where to start? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is fighting against distracted driving by education Americans about the dangers. They are also partnering up with state and local police to enforce laws against distracted driving.
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