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Distracted driving
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Distracted driving is the act of driving while engaged in other activities—such as looking after children, texting, talking on the phone or to a passenger, watching videos, eating, smoking, shagging, necking or reading. These activities take the driver’s attention away from the road. All distractions compromise the safety of the driver, passengers, bystanders and those in other vehicles.[citation needed]
According to the United States Department of Transportation, "text messaging while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted."[1] Despite these statistics, more than 37% of drivers have admitted to sending or receiving text messages while driving, and 18% admit doing so regularly.[2]
Avoiding distracted driving[edit]
Adjust mirrors and heat/AC before traveling or ask a passenger to assist.
Pre-program favorite radio stations for easy access and arrange music (MP3 player/CDs/tapes) in an easy-to-access spot.
Turn off your cell phone(s) and place them out of reach to avoid the urge to dial or answer; if a passenger is present, they should handle any calls or texts.
Designate a passenger to serve as a co-pilot to help with directions or, if driving alone, map out destinations in advance, and the driver should pull out to study a map, if needed.
Try to avoid food/beverage (at least, hot and or messy foods), and be sure food and drinks are secured.
Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle; do not underestimate how distracting it can be to tend to children while driving.
Speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior.
Don't make calls nor text to people who are driving; call them back at a safer time.
There are some places where it is illegal for drivers to read, compose and send text messages and emails. For example, there's a "No Texting while Driving" law in Minnesota,[36] that besides covering what was mentioned before, it also states as illegal to access the Internet using a wireless device while the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic (including stopped in traffic or at a traffic light).
Cell phone use is totally banned for school bus drivers and for teen drivers during their permit and provisional license stages.[36]

Consequences[edit]
Distracted driving is a growing problem in the United States. It is responsible for many deaths that could otherwise be prevented, especially in the younger generation of drivers. In 2008, there were 23,059 accidents involving 16- to 19-year-olds, which led to 194 deaths. Of these deaths, 10% were reported to be caused by distracted driving. Throughout the United States, over 3,000 deaths and 416,000 injuries annually can be attributed to distracted driving.[27] To further illustrate the seriousness of this “epidemic,” driving while texting is about 6 times more likely to result in an accident than drinking while driving. Not only is distracted driving more likely to result in an accident, but the risk of injury requiring hospital visitation is 3-5 times greater than the rate for other accidents.