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Distracted driving is sadly very common because often people do not realize how deadly small distractions can be.

Few things are more dangerous, yet unfortunately more common, than distracted driving. We all do it. We also all try to excuse ourselves. We are overly confident about our driving experience or believe that we are somehow more careful than others, or perhaps we just believe we are invincible. Sadly, none of our justifications are true, and each day lives are ruined, or even lost, because of distracted drivers across the country.

When we drive distracted, we are allowing some unessential activity to distract us from the critical functions we need to perform to safely operate our car. We are inclined to believe that when we participate in activities, such as talking on any kind of cell phone, pulling a phone from pockets or a purse, texting, changing the radio station, changing CDs, or anything that takes our eyes from the road, we will be ok. We have all seen distracted drivers, sometimes even people putting on makeup or shaving while they are driving! Perhaps seeing other people go to such an extreme is what makes people believe that what they are doing is ‘not so bad’. The statistics, however, are not on the side of this assumption. Over 3,000 people are killed yearly because of distracted drivers, and over 400,000 are injured. For those in the 15-19 year old age range, those who were involved in fatal crashes, nearly one quarter were distracted by the use of cellphones. Distracted driving can affect anyone at any time.

The depressingly common problem of distracted driving has prompted The New England Journal of Medicine to publish a special article that updates research on the topic, while also offering a fun video at the top that is just over two and a half minutes. This video definitely deserves to go viral, so do yourself a favor and check it out.

Personally, I have begun to work with a nationwide group of lawyers dedicated to preventing distracted driving. We give talks to high school students about the dangers of giving the road anything less than 100% of your attention. Our firm, Fick & May, is working in cooperation with The Casey Feldman Foundation, 60 for Safety, and the End Distracted Driving Initiative on the project. If you would like any additional information or are interested in having me give a free presentation about this important subject at your school, civic organization, etc. please contact me at 410-321-6000.

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