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Distracted Driving

Do you sometimes wonder at drivers focused on everything but the road? She’s testing on the beltway! He’s reading a map on his tablet behind that semi on I-55! She’s turned around, yelling at a child in the back seat and totally unaware of those flashing lights at the railroad crossing.

Welcome to the world of distracted drivers. The statistics are frightening:

- Every day, 4300 crashes result from distracted driving

- Drivers talking on cell phones cause 1.6 million crashes per year

- Collision risk is 2,200 percent higher while a driver is texting

- Nearly half of teenagers surveyed admit to being in a car while the driver was texting

Increasingly, state and local governments have reacted to the problem of distracted drivers by banning hand-held cell phones and regulating driver texting.

Even the most well intentioned driver may find a ringing cell phone impossible to resist, so the safest solution is to turn off your devices or put them on Do Not Disturb while driving. If you must leave them on, here are some common-sense safety tips from the Insurance Information Institute:

- Let all calls and messages go to voicemail

- If you need to make a call or text, first find a safe place to pull off the road

- Never dial when driving. If you must make a call, have a passenger dial the number, use speed dial, or even have a passenger make the call for you

- Keep calls brief and delay stressful conversations until a time when you’re not driving

- Never take notes while behind the wheel

And remember that any distraction can be the one that causes a major accident. Long before cell phones and texting were invented, the distractions of eating, drinking, applying makeup and selecting music all contributed to their share of accidents.

Cloverleaf Insurance 1-800-530-5822 wants you to be safe. Stay focused. Don’t drive distracted.

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