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Distracted driving is a risk for people of all ages

No matter how old or young you are, distracting driving can put you at risk of an accident. There are many kinds of distracted driving. Some distractions are visual, which take your eyes off the road. Others are audio distractions, like a child crying in the car or a loud bang outside the vehicle. Physical distractions are also possible. For example, if you have a sunburn that itches or if you are struck by something in the vehicle.

With any kind of distraction, the few seconds you look away from the wheel can quickly become dangerous. Even if you look away for only a few seconds, you could travel hundreds of feet without looking where you're going. That is enough time for the driver in front of you to cut you off, for a child to run in front of your vehicle or for you to go off the road.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that distracting driving took 3,477 lives in 2015 alone. While the number of people killed isn't an extreme number, the number of people injured is nearly 400,000 in one year. What's sad is that almost all drivers know the dangers of distracted driving, yet they continue to allow themselves to be distracted behind the wheel.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent distractions on the roads. First, never use a cellphone or send or receive texts while you're driving. Instead, pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot to place a call or send a text. It keeps you out of harm's way and prevents an accident.

You can also avoid changing your radio station. If you need to look down, that means you're looking away from the road and potential hazards. Have someone else in the vehicle change the radio, or use preset channels for one-button set-ups.

Finally, avoid eating in your vehicle. If you need to eat, pull into a parking space at the restaurant or over to the side of the road for a few minutes. While it may not seem distracting, eating takes at least one of your hands off the wheel and can result in a crash.

These are a few ways you can avoid distracted driving accidents. If you're struck by someone who was not cautious, you may be able to make a claim for compensation with your attorney's help.

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