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Fort Collins, Colorado

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Kyle Bachus
Kyle Bachus
Contributor •

We’ve all done it…driving while distracted.

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Cell phones, babies crying, eating, drinking, gawking at the accident on the other side of the highway, putting on make up, shaving, changing the radio station or CD, a gabby passenger, reaching for something that slipped off the seat, lighting a cigarette and even reading! We’ve all engaged in some sort of distracting activity while driving.

It only takes a split second for a crash to occur and when you’re not paying attention that split second of distraction can be catastrophic.

A study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that every driver is driving while distracted some of the time. The study also indicates that distractions are an every day occurrence for the drivers in the study.

Consider this breakdown of the most common distracting activities while driving.

% of Subjects % of Total Time

Reaching, leaning, etc

97.1

3.8

Manipulating music/audio controls

91.4

1.4

Eating, drinking, etc.

71.4

4.6

Conversing

77.1

15.3

Grooming

45.7

0.3

Passenger

44.4

0.9

Reading or writing

40.0

0.7

Using cell phone

30.0

1.3

Smoking

7.1

1.6

Most drivers don’t even realize that they engage in these distractions, it’s just a part of driving. But these distracting activities contribute to about twenty-five percent of all traffic crashes or 1.2 million incidents.

So, let’s try to pay attention the next time we’re behind the wheel…you never know if the driver in the next lane is distracted until it’s too late.