Beebe and O'Neil

A closer look at distracted driving

While many people realize the risks that are associated with drunk driving, speeding and other types of reckless behavior on the road, it is crucial for all drivers to realize just how dangerous distracted driving truly is. In New London, and other parts of Connecticut, distracted drivers may cause an accident that claims lives or leads to permanent and debilitating injuries for those involved in the crash, which highlights the importance of avoiding distractions when behind the wheel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1,160 people are hurt and more than eight people are killed every single day because of an accident involving a driver who was distracted. A number of distractions may take drivers' attention away from the road, including sending or reading text messages, talking to someone on the phone or in the vehicle, reading a map or eating food, among others. Drivers are distracted in different ways, whether they lose mental focus, do not look at the road when driving or remove their hands from the steering wheel.

The Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving reports that roughly 660,000 people are distracted from an electronic device or cell phone while driving at any point during the day. On average, drivers take their eyes away from the road for five seconds while texting and 80 percent of all drivers owned a smartphone in 2014. Additionally, 10 percent of drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 who were in a deadly auto accident were distracted when the accident took place.

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