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Driving is a fairly routine and mundane task for most adults. This may be especially true when driving the same route to school, work, or other places that a person visits routinely. No matter how routine and boring driving can seem, don’t take it for granted—not even with our premium vehicle insurance policies. It is incredibly dangerous to drive without focusing on road conditions at all times. Here are some of the key factors to consider when tempted to drive with a distraction in hand.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving refers to anything that you do that takes your focus off of the road. Daydreaming about getting another job, taking a vacation, or that big date that you have after work is an example of driving while distracted. You can also be distracted while talking on the phone, glancing at your GPS, or adjusting the radio station. Your children or other passengers may also cause you to lose focus while driving your car or truck.

How Prevalent is Distracted Driving?

According to one survey, 80 percent of respondents said that they engaged in dangerous behavior behind the wheel. Each year, distracted driving is deemed to be the cause in about 3,500 traffic fatalities. Furthermore, it is estimated to cause hundreds of thousands of crash injuries annually. However, it is believed that these figures may underestimate the true impact.

This is because there is no way to conclusively prove a driver was not paying attention when a crash occurs unless the driver admits it. Drivers are more likely to use phones while driving during the day as opposed to overnight. The frequency of distracted driving because of mobile phone use tends to peak during the morning and evening commutes.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

One of the key dangers of distracted driving is that it can increase your risk of getting into an accident. Furthermore, accidents caused by distracted drivers tend to be more severe. This is because they don’t see that a car has stopped until it is too late to slow down or swerve out of the way.

Accidents can cause significant injury or death to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. If you cause a crash while distracted, you will likely be liable for damages incurred by anyone involved in the accident. This is true for passengers who were in your vehicle when the wreck took place.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Distracted Driving?

According to car accident consultants, some car crashes are genuinely unpreventable. Winters are notorious for bad road conditions that can sometimes lead to an auto accident no matter how much caution the drivers involved have exercised. In many cases, however, the actions—or inaction—of one driver leads directly to an accident.

While some car crashes are genuinely unpreventable, there are many ways that you can stop yourself from driving while distracted. For example, you can put your phone down or in the backseat where it can’t be accessed while a vehicle is in motion.

Furthermore, program your GPS before driving away and heading to your next destination. Many modern vehicle models also allow drivers to use voice commands to change a radio station and conduct other tasks without glancing away from the road. For example, Dodge equips its newer models with Uconnect Voice Command and Hands-Free Calling features. These types of features make it easier for drivers to stay focused on the road.

Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors that you can engage in. While you may think that it is safe to answer a phone call or eat while driving, it can increase your risk of getting into an accident. No meal or phone call is worth the personal and financial ruin that such an event can cause.