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The Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Texting And Talking On The Phone Is The Cause Of Too Many Fatal Crashes In Illinois
Driver inattention also known as distracted driving is a factor in more than 1 million crashes in North America annually, resulting in serious injuries and deaths. Every single time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road – even for just a few seconds – they put their lives and the lives of others in danger. Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating. Illinois car accident fatalities this year so far are down from 394 in 2018 to 296 this year.  City streets had the most fatalities, with 115 deaths. US and state routes accounted for 76 deaths, followed by interstate highways at 53 and county/township roads accounting for 52.  Roughly one-third of the fatalities (96) occurred in Cook County.  Unfortunately, distracted driving in too many cases attributed to the accidents.

The use of a cell phone while driving increases your chance of getting into a crash by 400%!

Distracted Driving Stats For 2019.
-21% of teen drivers involved in a car accident were distracted by cell phones.
-A teen driver with one additional passenger is twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car accident.
-Texting or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds.
-In some states, a distracted driving citation can raise insurance rates from $87 to $762.
-According to the NHTSA, 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while driving. -Men are 4 times more likely to drink and drive, while women are more likely to text and drive.
-Reaching for an object increases the chances of a car crash by 8 times according to the more alarming distracted driving statistics. Parents with young children are more likely to be distracted behind the wheel than adults without kids in their car.
-Once a driver has been distracted, it takes only 3 seconds for a car crash to occur.
-In the U.S., about 9 people are killed every day due to car crashes involving a distracted driver.

Here are 5 Tips To Avoid Distracted Driving    
1. Pull over to a safe place to talk on the phone, text message, or email. Also, learn how your phone’s controls work in case a call is unavoidable. Practice good habits by turning your phone off before you drive so you won’t be tempted to answer calls on the road.

2. Don’t touch that dial. Adjust seat positions, climate controls, sound systems and other devices before you leave or when you stop. Know how your controls work so if you must adjust something on the go, you’ll be less distracted. Use presets for radio and climate control, or have your passenger assist you.

3. Don’t multi-task when driving. Don’t use the vehicle’s mirrors for personal grooming when the vehicle is in motion or try to read or write while you’re behind the wheel. Wait until you get to the next stoplight.

4. Pull over to care for children. Change the baby, feed the kids, and buckle them into their vehicle seats before you leave. If you need to attend to them, pull over in a safe place — don’t try to handle children while you’re driving.

5. Stop to eat or drink. Drive-through windows and giant cup holders make it tempting to have a meal while driving, but you’re safer when you stop to eat or drink. If you can’t avoid eating while driving, try to avoid messy foods.

A recent poll of young drivers revealed the following:
  • 36% of respondents (aged 18-24) admitted to texting while driving.
  • Of those who admitted to texting while driving, 51% said they were “very” or “extremely” familiar with their state’s texting and driving laws.
  • 48% of respondents said they thought driving under the influence of alcohol was more dangerous than texting and driving, though both behaviors can cause fatal car accidents.
  • Young drivers who admitted to texting while driving, or reading a text message while driving, were nearly twice as likely to continue to engage in cell phone use (including reading and sending text messages) than were other respondents, thereby doubling their chances of more than once getting into an accident.

Source: Illinois Department Of Transportation and Illinois State Police

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