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What are the most common types of distracted driving?

Distracted driving claims the lives of dozens of Alabama travelers each year and is the leading cause of crashes within the state.

Research shows that a driver who is texting significantly increases the risk of getting into an accident over a non-texting driver. While cell phone use receives much of the attention, there are multiple distractions that impair an individual’s ability to drive safely on the roads.

Define distracted driving

Any activity that takes primary attention away from the task of driving falls into the category of distracted driving. These activities endanger both the driver and passengers of a vehicle, as well as innocent bystanders or other motorists. Distractions include:

  • Using a smartphone or cell phone
  • Drinking or eating
  • Operating a navigation device
  • Adjusting a media player
  • Self-care or other grooming tasks
  • Laughing or talking with passengers
  • Texting

Eliminate distracting behaviors

Driving while emailing, texting or using social media is common among older teens and young adults, although adults are not immune to the use of cell phones while driving either. Alabama put in place a texting-and-driving law with specific requirements for teenagers, with any driver younger than 18 prohibited from using a handheld cellphone while driving. This includes using the phone to make a call. Given the prevalence of cell phone use amongst all drivers, Alabama went further and implemented additional restrictions concerning wireless telecommunication while driving.

Distracted driving leads to accidents and injuries. Putting your phone in the backseat while driving, using a hands-free device or pulling over to respond to a call or message reduce the risks of distracted driving.