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Distracted driving is dangerous driving

For many decades now, Connecticut drivers have heard about the dangers of driving after consuming alcohol. There is no disputing the fact that too many people have died or been injured at the hands of drunk drivers. Today, a new and seemingly equally dangerous behavior is threatening the safety of innocent people every day. That danger is distracted driving. As cellphones have been standard issue for pretty much every person in the nation, the ability to put them away while behind the wheel seems to have been lost.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that close to 3,500 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2015 and more than another 390,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the reality may be even worse as it estimates as many as 5,000 people are killed every year by drivers who are not focused on driving. With nearly 16 percent of all fatal crashes being attibuted to some form of distraction, understanding what can be considered distracted driving is important. Texting is certainly the focus of the most attention and with good reason. It takes not just a driver's eyes but also hands and mind away from the act of driving.

Drivers should realize that they are not only distracted when actively using phones but for some time after. Research shows that it may take up to 27 second after putting down a phone for a driver's mind to shift fully back onto the at of driving. This is referred to as the latency period and it dramatically increases the risk associated with this behavior.




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