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It's high season for inattentive driving

Distracted driving is trending in the wrong direction for safety advocates. Efforts to curb distraction have proven ineffective all across the country. While inattentive drivers are always a problem, they are worse during the summer months according to a recent analysis. Drivers are 10 percent more distracted in June, July and August than they are during the rest of the year.

What are you looking at?

Travelers, the insurance company, and a smartphone platform known as TruMotion teamed up to review the records of thousands of drivers from the start of last year to May of this year. They found that the average summertime driver only spent 45 minutes of every driving hour actually paying attention to the road. The rest of the time was largely spent looking at their phones. Given that the summer months see more driving traffic overall, it is a bad time to succumb to dangerous driving behavior.

A pointless risk

At 55 mph, it is dangerous to take your eyes off the road for even a moment. Doing so long enough to read a text, type a message, look for Facebook notifications or scan an email is a risk not worth taking. Drunk driving is illegal because alcohol slows reaction time and impairs judgment and motor function. Distracted drivers have no reaction time because they are not looking at the stimulus that should lead to a response. While there is no way to quantify whether distracted or drunk driving is more dangerous, it is not in dispute that both cost the lives of thousands of drivers, passengers and pedestrians every year.

Distracted drivers cause substantial damage, to themselves and others, with their behavior. A person driving a vehicle should not try to operate a smartphone at the same time. Avoid the distraction and make it home safe and sound.

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