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It's Worse Than Drunk Driving!

Driving a car comes with an immense amount of responsibility. Drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times, and be able to react quickly to changing roadway threats. 

A recent study from the University of Minnesota found that talking on a cell phone while driving impairs one’s ability even more than driving while intoxicated. Talking on a cell phone and other driver distractions pose a major hazard to everyone on the road. Every day, nearly 9 people are killed and more than 1,160 people are injured in crashes reportedly involving a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, the NHTSA claims that driver inattention is the leading contributing factor in most crashes or near-miss accidents in the United States.

To minimize risks while driving:
  • Do not talk on your cell phone or use the text messaging feature.
  • If you absolutely must conduct a conversation use a hands-free device and speed dial.
  • Never touch up your makeup or hair in the rearview mirror.
  • Limit your conversations with passengers and ask them to keep their voices down so you can concentrate.
  • Do not smoke while you are driving, as you will probably pay more attention to not burning yourself or putting out the cigarette than driving safely.
  • Only adjust the radio or CD player when you are completely stopped.
  • Never allow animals to sit on your lap while driving.
  • Do not eat or drink while driving.
  • Avoid reading maps or directions. Instead, pull into a parking lot to get your bearings and determine where you need to go next to reach your final destination.
  • Do not take notes or search for phone numbers.
  • Never use a cell phone (even with a hands-free device) in bad weather, work zones or heavy traffic.

Of all crashes, over 90 percent involve driver inattention within a three-second window of the incident. The moral of the story: When motorists change radio stations, try to read maps or talk on cellphones, they are putting themselves and others at risk.

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How Texting is Unique
The latest danger to hit the roadways in recent years is texting while driving. Texting requires a motorist’s full attention, which obviously inhibits attention to the road. This concern is by no means limited to everyday drivers; inattention due to texting has caused many occupational drivers to be involved in deadly roadway crashes. Consider the following instances:

  • A Boston trolley driver missed a red light while texting his girlfriend and smashed into another trolley. This accident injured 50 people.
  • A Florida truck driver killed two young women when he hit their vehicle because he was texting.
  • An attorney in Nevada rolled his company-issued SUV because he failed to pay attention due to texting. 

It’s Against the Law
Many states have laws outlawing the use of cellphones and texting while driving. To avoid a ticket and a potentially dangerous accident, do not use your cellphone in any capacity while driving. If you must make a phone call or text, pull off the road safely and then do so. No message is more important than saving omeone’s life. 

Safety First
Allowing yourself to become distracted while driving can lead to dangerous, and even fatal, consequences. Be a responsible motorist and make paying attention to the road your number one priority when you’re behind the wheel.

These days, lawsuits related to vehicle accidents are very common. Ensure you have the best possible protection at the best rates by speaking with a Marshall & Sterling representative today. We can help protect you in case of an unfortunate accident.

To properly protect yourself from the always present danger of huge awards for automobile liability, it is imperative that you maintain the proper level of coverage for your particular situation. We can help pinpoint car insurance best suited to your needs - get a quote from Marshall & Sterling today.


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