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The dangers of texting and driving

Distracted driving takes many forms. For example, there is eating while driving. Even chatting with a passenger can be a distraction, especially if you turn to look at the person and get deeply involved in the conversation.

However, when you picture "distracted driving," texting may be what comes to mind first. That is for a good reason, as figures from the Federal Communications Commission indicate how prevalent a problem texting while driving is. In fact, about 660,000 drivers in the United States are on their cellphones or similar devices at any moment during the day.

Texting while driving is illegal in Kentucky

Texting while driving is so dangerous that it is illegal in states such as Kentucky. But why is it so risky? For one thing, it takes drivers' attention from the road. Say you get a text and want to reply. Your eyes could be off the road for seconds at a time; five seconds is all it takes to drive the distance of a football field if you are going 55 miles per hour. In that span, all manner of potential obstacles can occur: a braking car in front of you, someone crossing the street or a motorcycle moving into your lane, for example.

Texting can be addictive, too, so it is a hard habit to break. That rush of pleasure many people experience when they get a text motivates them to pick up the phone to read the text and respond. The reply then leads to another new text. It is a hard cycle to break, and some drivers have difficulty letting go of something that gives them such a thrill.

Perhaps the most disconcerting danger of texting and driving is the message that it sends to other people in the car, namely children. Kids grow up seeing their parents, babysitters and other adults text and drive like it is acceptable behavior. In turn, these kids, when they become drivers, might think nothing of driving distracted.

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