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Understanding how distractions lead to crashes

Virginian residents should know everything they can about distracted driving behaviors before they hit the roads. While some actions are well-known for being dangerous, such as texting and driving or driving under the influence, others are less discussed and may even be considered acceptable.

The Federal Communications Commission takes a look at one of the current most deadly distractions: texting while driving. Though texting in specific is called out, this can also extend to checking emails, websites, surfing social media, or anything else in which a handheld electronic device takes one's attention away from the road. Texting is considered particularly dangerous because it falls into all three categories of distraction: mental, physical, and visual.

However, electronics aren't the only distractions in a car, even if they're among the most deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at a few other distracted driving issues, including behaviors that are considered normal and even safe by many drivers. This may include things like changing the car's temperature or music, adjusting dashboard settings, or holding conversations with other drivers that require a substantial amount of attention. These are a far cry from actions like picking something up from the floor or texting a friend. They are considered safer, even though all of these actions result in a driver's hands, eyes, or attention being taken from the road.

Because of the speeds cars travel, a driver only needs to be looking away from the road for a couple of seconds for catastrophe to strike. This is important to understand when dealing with any form of distracted driving and the subsequent consequences that may follow.

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