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Distracted Driving Deadly | Kids Count

Distracted Driving Deadly

We are a nation of movers and shakers and we are all engaged in trying to keep ourselves from falling off our multi-tasking treadmills. At home these preoccupations may lead us to watch television, eat lunch, talk on the telephone and surf the net all at the same time. These actions really become distractions at some point and I would speculate that many hours are wasted in such endeavors without us knowing it.

When multi-tasking takes place behind the wheel, the results can be lethal. Over the past few years I have made the forty five minute trip to Plattsburgh where I work. Once on the Northway, I have seen people talking on cell phones, texting or simply looking down at the floor while driving and playing their music so loud that my seat vibrated when they passed me at just over seventy miles an hour.

I have also seen a few unusual occurrences as well such as a man reading a newspaper while driving; another man had a cup in one hand and was eating something with the other, presumably driving with his knees. I saw a man driving with a small dog draped around his neck, I once passed a car where at first glance, looked like no on was driving but the man was stretched out across the seat reaching for something presumably. In the early morning trips I frequently followed weary truckers weaving back and forth running onto a wake up strip at the edge of the road and one day I saw a truck leave the highway and traveled down the side of the road adjacent to the highway until the driver could stop the big truck.

About 10 million people are involved in car accidents annually in America. They are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Some estimates suggest that there are some 300,000 incidents of drunk driving in America every day. Drunk driving is the number three cause of car accidents in America according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2011, just over 1.41 million American drivers were arrested for drinking and driving. National, State and Local efforts to reduce drinking and driving have helped to reduce fatalities related to drinking and driving and many people now appoint a designated driver to insure that no one drinks and drives.

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