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Car accidents can occur when Floridians multi-task while driving

Many people in Florida pride themselves on their ability to multi-task, and this pride extends into their driving habits. They may think there is no problem with using a cell phone, eating, grooming or playing with the radio while driving. However, all these behaviors can be distracting, causing a driver to take their focus off the road. When drivers engage in such risky activities, it could lead to an accident.

There are three main categories of distractions when it comes to driving. Some distractions are visual, causing the motorist to take their eyes off the road. Some distractions are manual, causing the motorist to take their hands off the steering wheel. Finally, some distractions are cognitive, causing the driver to think about something other than the task of driving. All three of these distractions are in play when a motorist is texting and driving, making it an extremely hazardous activity.

To prevent an accident, a motorist must be able to perceive a danger, react to the danger appropriately and allow their vehicle the time needed to come to a safe stop. Even if a motorist is not distracted, if they are travelling at 50 miles per hour, the distance it would take for their vehicle to come to a stop is approximately 268 feet - almost the length of an entire football field. And, if a driver is distracted, they may not have time to come to a stop, causing them to collide with another vehicle.

Distracted driving is a danger not just to the motorist engaged in the behavior, but to everyone else on the road. While multi-tasking may be okay at work or at home, while driving it is an extremely risky endeavor. Therefore, motorists are advised to avoid distractions while driving and keep their attention on the road so that they, and those around them, can reach their destinations safely.

Source: flhsmv.gov, "Distracted Driving Awareness," accessed Jan. 28, 2018

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