We’ve all been there: You’re driving down the highway and your phone starts buzzing. You look down into your console and see a notification. Maybe it’s a text message or someone has commented on a Facebook status, but either way you’re burning with curiosity to know what it says. You’ve got a good handle on the road so it couldn’t hurt to pick up your phone for a second to look at it, right?
Distracted driving is a huge cause of accidents in the United States. And with social sharing apps like Instagram and Periscope becoming ever more popular, distracted driving is becoming an even bigger problem. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, over 3,000 people were killed and more than 430,000 injured in 2014 due to accidents involving distracted drivers. 15-19 year olds are at the highest risk of causing accidents due to distracted driving and about 10% of kids in this age range who were involved in accidents were caught using their phones while driving.
The lesson here is that distracted driving isn’t just unwise: It can become deadly. By compromising your focus, you run the risk of opening yourself up to a sudden accident. After all, just because you think that you know what’s coming along down the road, you can never account for the actions of other drivers. Perhaps a reckless speeder will decide to cut in front of you at the last minute or perhaps another driver will have a tire blowout in front of you. The only way to prevent these hazards from becoming a tragedy is by paying attention and reacting quickly. That is impossible to do when you have a phone in your hand.
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