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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

For drivers regularly traveling San Antonio roads, steering clear of accidents is crucial. Unfortunately, many people these days operate their vehicles with numerous distractions, whether it’s having a conversation with a passenger or using a smartphone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention illustrates the many dangers of distracted driving and also offer insight on how these behaviors are being addressed by law enforcement. 

Driving distractions are about more than texting behind the wheel. There are actually three separate types of behaviors that can cause accidents. Taking your eyes off the road for any reason counts as a visual distraction, while a manual distraction entails taking your from the wheel. Cognitive distractions are those where your mind is not occupied with the task at hand (i.e. driving). In this case even something seemingly as innocent as daydreaming while driving can be dangerous, as you may not be able to respond in time to sudden road hazards.

Younger drivers tend to be the most susceptible to distracted driving behaviors. Drivers under 20 have the highest risk, as they are most likely to perish in a crash related to texting and driving. Additionally, young people who are frequent texters also tend to exhibit other dangerous behaviors, such as drunk driving and being less likely to wear a seatbelt (which is imperative when involved in a crash).

In response to accidents caused by distracted behaviors, many states are implementing laws banning the use of mobile phones while driving. As of 2017, 46 states passed laws banning texting and driving, while 14 states prohibited any use of a mobile device while driving. There have also been numerous campaigns enacted to deter drivers from using mobile devices, which illustrate just how deadly these behaviors can be (for both the driver as well as their passengers).  



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