When you are driving, it is important to give the road your full attention. Eating while steering, changing the channel on the radio, and or using your car GPS system are seemingly harmless activities that can have deadly consequences. Marlborough drivers can benefit from recognizing the behaviors that contribute to distracted driving and why these behaviors are so dangerous.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving can refer to any activity that causes a driver to lose their focus on the road. However, common distracting activities that drivers engage in include:
- Texting or talking on a cell phone.
- Talking to passengers in the car.
- Eating or drinking foods and beverages while driving.
- Reading maps or using a GPS system in the car.
To keep safe, it is recommended that drivers refrain from these activities while they are operating a vehicle. As a rule of thumb, an activity is a distraction if it reduces your ability to see or hear fully while you are driving.
Just How Serious in Distracted Driving?
The dangers of distracted driving are well documented. The U.S. government website for distracted driving highlights the severity of the problem through the following statistics:
- In 2011, over 3,000 drivers were killed in crashes that involved distracted drivers.
- In 2010, distracted driving contributed to 18 percent of all crashes that resulted in an injury.
- Text messaging while driving makes it 23 times more likely that a driver will be involved in a crash.
- A driver’s reaction time decreases by 18 percent when using a cell phone.
As these statistics show, habits that reduce a driver’s focus greatly increase a driver’s likelihood of getting in an accident.
What if I Receive a Citation for Distracted Driving?
Connecticut takes distracted driving very seriously and specifically restricts cell phone use by drivers. Connecticut prohibits all drivers from talking or sending text messages while operating a motor vehicle. However, Marlborough drivers should note that the police in Connecticut may pull you over for other behaviors that they interpret to be distracting.
An independent agent can assist you if you are cited for distracted driving. While insurance providers take distracted driving seriously, one citation typically will not lead to increased premiums. However, multiple tickets may place you in a higher risk category. An independent agent can help you determine how a citation for distracted driving may impact your rates and help you keep your rates low if you are shopping for a new policy.