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Beware distracted driving on California roads

Maybe this has happened to you: You're in the car, hurrying to your destination, trying to do a million things at once: Eat some breakfast, program the radio, talk to your kids, put on some makeup. Your cell phone goes off, and you know that you have an urgent text or call. Do you pick it up?

It can be tempting to reach over and quickly check your cell phone in your car, but by doing so you could inadvertently be breaking the law. In 2017, California enacted one of the strictest laws in the country regarding distracted driving. In response to hundreds of accidents and even deaths resulting from distracted drivers, the state passed a law completely banning drivers from using--or even holding-- mobile devices. Distracted driving can have serious consequences for the driver, passengers and other cars on the road--so take a moment to learn some important statistics.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety,

  • Distracted driving can include anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road, or your hands off the steering wheel.
  • Texting and cell phone use are the most common and dangerous forms of distracted driving.
  • More than 44 percent of California drivers agree that texting while driving is dangerous.
  • Fifty-four percent of drivers in California say they have been hit or nearly hit by a distracted driver.
  • Nationwide, nearly 40 percent of drivers admitted to making a mistake while driving distracted.
  • Crashes are three times more likely to occur during distracted driving.
  • Texting while driving causes your eyes to leave the road for 5 seconds--at 55 miles per hour, this is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
  • Many other acts can cause distracted driving, like eating, adjusting dials and reaching for something.

Distracted driving may be all too common, but by knowing the statistics can help make California's roads safer for everyone.

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