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Like drivers in other states, Indiana residents have been hearing more and more about the dangers of distracted driving in recent years - and with good reason. According to, nearly 3,200 people died and another 431,000 were hurt in distracted driving accidents in 2014 alone.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that distracted driving is responsible for at least 16 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents in the United States every year. Knowing these statistics, it is important to review exactly what distracted driving is or could be.

Certainly texting while driving has become a key issue. This is because it clearly involves all three forms of identified distractions - mental, visual and manual. However, texting is far from the only problem and so too is texting while driving. Even the use of a phone to send or read a message when stopped at a traffic light, for example, can be dangerous. Research shows that this still results in latency that can last as long as 27 seconds after a person puts the phone down or looks away from a phone. This latency refers to the amount of time it takes for the driver's brain to fully re-engage with the act of driving.

In thinking about latency and the risks it poses, the concern about other distractions that may also require mental attention from a driver take on new seriousness. Keeping hands and eyes on the road or wheel is essential but so too is keeping drivers' concentration levels on the act of driving.


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