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Distracted driving affects all drivers at some point in their lifetime. But how we deal with distractions can save lives. The effects of driving while distracted are widespread and are not isolated to the immediate action.

The biggest causes of distracted driving are cell phone use, disruptive passengers, loud music, and eating. To reduce these distractions, silence your cell phone before you begin to travel, this way you will be significantly less tempted to answer any messages. Before you begin driving, make it clear to your passengers that you need to focus on the road and your surroundings as you drive; this can be difficult to convey to children, but a calm and adult demeanor may help them understand that it is important to everyone’s safety that you are aware of your surroundings. Next, make the choice not to blast your music. It is often difficult to hear through cars even without bass overpowering all outside sound. Many of us have on-the-go lifestyles and eating while driving has become a habit. But, you should avoid this. Pull over or stay in the parking lot while eating; both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road is the best way to drive in order to avoid an accident.

Effects of these distractions and many others are seen every day throughout the country and world, over 1 million deaths per year are attributed to car accidents. Accidents can range from simple fender benders to flipped and totaled cars, rarely do people survive the latter.

But it’s not just about survival. Injuries that follow people for the rest of their lives and shatter their world are caused by distractions while driving. Over 1.5 million crashes per year are caused by texting and driving, according to the National Safety Council.

There is a multitude of different injuries that can be caused by an accident. Neck injuries, dislocation of a spinal disk, broken bones, extreme bruising and internal bleeding, paralyzation, and brain injuries are just some possibilities. And to add to this list, when an accident is caused by a distracted driver, they can’t say “I tried to stop it.” Driving while distracted can ruin and end lives, but the driver responsible may have no better explanation than “I was eating”.

The effects of distracted driving aren’t limited to physical, guilt of parties involved will often follow such an event. The families and victims of distracted driving will be affected for many years as well as the driver(s). However; no amount of “sorry” will ever heal the pain of a loved one being taken. Victims will often associate cars with trauma as well. Another effect of these incidents is that it blocks traffic; it takes time and money for people who may not be directly affected to recover.

Too much harm is caused by driving while distracted. The effects of distracted driving aren’t worth the risk and far outweigh the reasons for doing so. Be safe, be smart, drive focused.


By: Monroe Myers

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