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Now is the time to conquer distracted driving

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The New Year is almost here, and many people in the Boca Raton area are probably thinking about making some resolutions. The New Year is a great time to think about the changes we all need to make in our lives. For some of us, 2014 may be the year to start focusing on health. Others might decide to begin saving money on January 1st, or to start taking time out of their lives to help others.

Whatever your resolutions might be, here is another one to add: Give up distracted driving.

Distracted driving is an unsafe and irresponsible habit, and many Florida residents struggle with this. Whether it is talking, texting or emailing, putting on makeup, eating, adjusting a radio or GPS system, or paying too much attention to children in the backseat, distracted driving can be a fatal mistake.

In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, 3,328 people were killed in car accidents that were caused by distracted driving.

Driving requires visual, manual and cognitive attention, and when a driver lets his or her attention stray, the consequences can be catastrophic. Many drivers think that they are invincible; they know that distracted driving kills, but they think that they can multitask well enough to safely send a quick text on the roads. This is a dangerous mindset to have; distracted driving is a life-threatening hazard and no one is above it.

For example, sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds – at 55 mph, that is the length of a football field. Imagine what can happen in 4.6 seconds.

In 2014, resolve to be an attentive driver. You just might save a life.

Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, “Distraction.gov,” 2013

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