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Distracted driving: 3 forms to know before you drive

By now, most people know that driving while distracted is a danger to themselves and others. Despite that, people still send texts, read emails and perform other digital activities while they're driving. Statistics show that when you travel at 55 mph and send or text someone, you'll take your eyes off the road for around five seconds. In those five seconds, you'll travel far enough to cover the length of a football field.

Taking your eyes off the road for any length of time is a danger to yourself, your passengers and others on or around the roads. Five seconds is long enough for a driver to pull out in front of you, to slam on his or her brakes, or to make a mistake that you don't have time to avoid.

What kinds of distractions are there?

When people talk about texting as a distraction, it's actually an activity that involves three types of distractions. Distractions come in three forms. They include manual, which is when you remove your hands from the wheel, cognitive, when you think about something other than driving, and visual, when you take your eyes off the road.

Anything that takes your attention off what you're doing is a distraction. Eating, texting, calling a friend or even changing the radio station could be enough to result in a crash. Texting is one of the distractions talked about most because it involves all three forms of distractions, making it particularly dangerous.

In 2015 alone, 391,000 people suffered injuries as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver. Fortunately, that number is something that can be reduced if people begin to take driving seriously and don't get distracted behind the wheel. If you get distracted and cause a crash, it's possible to defend your actions, but it's better to always pay attention.

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