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Distracted driving not limited to cellphone use

Most drivers in Massachusetts can attest to seeing someone on their cellphone behind the wheel on any given day. Texting while driving or using an electronic device behind the wheel can be very dangerous and result in a car accident. The dangers associated with cellphone use while driving have become well-known in Massachusetts, and many safety groups continue to raise awareness about these dangers.

Using a cellphone or other electronic devices while driving has risks; in addition to the dangers of cellphone use, did you know that there are many other dangerous distractions behind the wheel that can cause a car accident

Distracted driving can be caused by a variety of factors, not just cellphones or GPS devices. Drivers should be aware of distracted driving in all forms, and take steps to reduce or eliminate these behaviors behind the wheel. What are some other common types of distracted driving motorists should be aware of? The most common types are listed below: 

  • Eating or drinking: this can be very dangerous as it takes your attention off the road and allows you to only drive with one hand. 
  • Pets: unsecured pets can be very dangerous in your vehicle. Pets moving around can block your view, distract you and even make it difficult to drive if your dog sits on your lap. 
  • Looking at a car crash: slowing down or stopping to look at a car accident is not advised and can even cause additional accidents. 
  • Applying makeup or looking in your mirror: rearview mirrors are for monitoring traffic while driving, not for looking at yourself. 

There are many causes of distracted driving but they all can lead to same outcome: a car accident. Drivers need to be aware of the dangers of not focusing on the road and take steps to reduce any potential distractions to keep everyone safe on the road. 

Source: The Patriot Ledger, "Auto Bits: Dangerous driving distractions that may surprise you," Dec. 2, 2013

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