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Cell Phones Aren’t the Only Distraction for Drivers | Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyer

Cell Phones Aren’t the Only Distraction for Drivers

Talking or texting on a cell phone is not the only distraction for drivers that leads to many of today’s automobile crashes, according to a group of insurance carriers.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s call for a ban on cell phone use while driving certainly brings much needed attention to this issue, but this discussion should actually focus on how to decrease all forms of distracted driving, says the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

“Cell phone usage is only one of many bad habits that are distracting American drivers,” said Robert Passmore, senior director of personal lines for PCI, in a news release. “Distracted driving is a serious problem and in our increasingly mobile world, it is becoming the norm.”

As with other traffic safety issues like seatbelt use and drunk driving, PCI officials say there is no single answer to addressing distracted driving.

Distracted driving should be addressed on various fronts including public education, laws and enforcement, but mostly the driver’s personal responsibility.

According to the Insurance Information for Highway Safety, 35 states and the District of Columbia have bans on texting while driving and half of these bans became law in 2010. Ten states now have hands-free laws limiting the use of hand-held cell phones and 30 states now restrict beginning drivers from using cell phones.

A majority of adult drivers in the United States confess to being dangerously distracted while driving, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.

Specifically 86 percent of adults are eating/drinking while driving, 59 percent are chatting on a non-hands-free cell phone, 41 percent are adjusting their GPS device, and 37 percent are texting.

Additionally, nearly a fourth of survey respondents said they have driven after consuming two or more alcoholic drinks, while 44 percent said they’ve felt tired and sleepy while driving, even at times dozing off. And 7 percent and 12 percent of those polled, respectively, said they drive this way “sometimes or often.”

“This poll makes it clear that cell phones are not our only distraction,” said Passmore. “However, the pervasive use of cell phones and other devices while driving has changed how we operate in our cars.”

In the fast paced world we live in today, our vehicles are used as high speed mobile offices, Passmore said. Distracted driving of all sorts – such as eating and drinking, adjusting navigation systems, even grooming – can all be distractions that adversely impact safe driving.

As this issue comes to the forefront in our nation and world, Passmore said we all need to go back to the basics, change our expectations as we drive and reject the pressure to do anything else while we drive our cars.

For more on traffic safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach car accident attorney.

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