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What are common causes and dangers of being a distracted driver?

There are enough dangers on the roads in Fulton County without having to worry about someone not paying full attention to what they're doing when operating a motor vehicle. Even with the known prevalence and dangers of being a distracted driver, there are still drivers on the road who don't realize their actions are putting others at risk. Many believe they can multitask, handling driving and other activities, and do so safely. Statistics and research indicate that they are wrong.

Unbeknownst to many drivers, being a distracted or negligent driver can actually be more dangerous to themselves, their passengers and other people on the road than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although they don't believe they're breaking the law in a malicious way, being a distracted driver can cause a car accident just like being drunk. Some ways people become distracted include texting and driving, talking on a cellphone, caring for a child or watching a movie on a mobile device. Still, many are under the impression that doing several things at once while driving isn't a significant risk.

Distracted driving affects teenagers substantially. In fact, the most common way in which a teen is killed in a car accident is due to distraction -- it's now even higher than alcohol. In spite of 90 percent of teen drivers saying they don't drink and drive, the same percentage claims they have observed motorists using their cellphones while behind the wheel. The amount of brain functioning while performing other activities such as talking or listening to music while driving reduces by 40 percent. Over 80 percent of drivers -- not just teens -- admit to performing risky acts such as shaving or painting their nails while driving. Drivers operating their vehicles while drowsy are also a major danger on our nation's roadways that can lead to accidents and fatalities.

States have taken steps to try to address the dangers of texting and driving and other manners of distracted or negligent driving by enacting stricter laws and stepping up enforcement. That, however, doesn't stop a large number of drivers from committing these acts and possibly causing an accident. When there is a crash with injuries or fatalities due to a distracted driver, it's important that those affected know whether they are able to move forward with a legal filing.

Source:, "Distracted Driving," accessed Nov. 17, 2014

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