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Don't let distractions cause a crash

You've been driving for years, so you know that it's important to stay focused. You've had your share of close calls, and you understand why some younger drivers might not focus as much as they should. On top of that, society is so much more connected today than it was in the past that it just makes sense that people want to continue to use their devices while driving.

Unfortunately, distractions do cause accidents, severe injuries and death. Although people generally don't intend to cause collisions, the reality is that choosing to do anything other than focusing on the road is a recipe for a collision.

Distracted driving took 3,166 lives in 2017 and harmed many others, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As a result, it is important that people understand how dangerous distracted driving is, so they can make the changes that are necessary to be safer behind the wheel.

What can you do to avoid distractions?

There are three kinds of distractions. These include the physical distractions that make you take your hands off the steering wheel, the mental distractions that occur when you think about anything other than driving and the visual distractions that take your eyes off what you're doing. Knowing these three kinds of distractions, you can see that doing anything other than keeping your hands on the wheel, staying focused and looking at the road ahead can increase your risk of a collision. So, what can you do to avoid one?

One good tip is to avoid eating, drinking or snacking in your vehicle. If you need to eat, take the few minutes it will take you to eat and pull over. That way, you won't have the risk of an accident if you spill or drop something, and you'll be able to use both hands while driving. You won't have to look away from the road or be distracted by hunger.

Another good idea is to pull over if you need to take a call or send a message. It might be a hassle, but if you stop, you'll be less likely to be involved in a crash and more likely to make it to where you want to go safely.

By focusing on what you're doing instead of external tasks or internal thoughts, you'll be more aware of your surroundings and less likely to be involved in a collision.

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