When we think of distracted driving, phone conversations and texting are what typically come to mind; however, any number of things can distract us from driving, including abrupt new changes in the scenery, road construction, or emergency vehicles on the side of the highway.
These circumstances can cause rubbernecking, which then causes more cars to slow down, and so on and so on. These inconsistencies in traffic speed lead to uneven traffic flow and an increase in the chance of accidents. Often times these distractions simply cause the driver to turn his or her eyes away from the road ahead for a few consequential seconds resulting in a swerve across lanes or off the road.
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Distracted Driving Is a Serious Issue
Distracted driving continues to be a major issue for traffic safety. Every year, about 421,000 accidents are caused by distracted driving in the U.S. It’s important to remain focused even if you’re not the one using your phone while driving. On average, it takes only three seconds of distraction to cause an accident. Keeping that in mind, any number of distractions (not just your phone) can lead to an accident.
So, of course, put your phone away while you’re driving, but also remember to be mindful of other distractions that can lead to accidents – such as finding a good radio station, having conversations with your friend in the passenger seat, or looking hard to your left or right to check out construction, an accident, or beautiful scenic views.