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Distracted driving behaviors that can be deadly

Everyone has heard about the dangers of using hand-held devices to talk on the phone, text and access social media while driving. However, dangerous distracted driving behaviors, which result in an average of eight fatalities a day and far more injuries, include other activities that too many people are used to doing in their vehicles. These include:

Eating: Drive-thrus are everywhere. Whether you're picking up a quick bite to eat after a lunch hour of running errands or you simply can't bear to think about cooking after a long day at work, a stop at a drive-thru or for takeout is a tempting option. So is taking a bite of a French fry or sipping some coffee on your way home.

However, anything that takes at least one hand off the wheel or distracts your attention from the road is dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating and/or drinking behind the wheel can increase your chances of being involved in a crash by 80 percent. Either consume your meal before starting up the car again or put it out of reach until you have reached your destination.

Grooming: When you're stuck in traffic or even stopped at a light, it can be tempting to fix your hair or apply a little lip gloss. However, this takes your attention off the road. Save the last-minute fix-ups until you've arrived at your destination.

Dealing with kids: It's easier said than done to avoid dealing with fussy kids in the car. However, as long as they are safely secured by car seats or seat belts, there's nothing that can't wait until you pull over.

Using touchscreens: Many late-model vehicles offer all of the communications, social media and GPS apps you could need at your fingertips. While these are generally safer than using hand-held devices, they nonetheless take your eyes and attention off the road. It's best to limit your use of these applications to necessary activities

Drivers who take their eyes off the road for even a few seconds can cause a serious or fatal accident, particularly if they fail to see a pedestrian. If you or a loved one is a victim of an auto vs. pedestrian accident, it's essential to find out what the driver was doing at the time of the crash. Your attorney can help you get the facts.

Source: esurance.com, "4 Distracted Driving Behaviors You Should Stop Now," Rebecca Goldfarb, accessed June 15, 2017

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