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Distracted driving kills thousands of people on our roadways every year. There are ways to prevent distracted driving, however. One of the most prevalent forms of distracted driving is texting and/or talking on your cell phone while driving. A number of countries, and several states have passed legislation to ban texting while driving, while other states have bills pending to ban it. In the United States, texting while driving is illegal, or will soon be illegal, for all drivers in the following states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Other states have laws restricting texting for underage driver’s and the state of Texas prohibits school bus drivers from texting while transporting children under 17 years old. In the state of Florida, a proposed bill known as “Heather’s Law,” would not only ban texting, but would prohibit all cell phone use while driving. Some states also require that you pull your car over when using a cell phone. The bottom line is: don‘t do it. Make your car a “no cell phone zone“ and simply do not talk on your phone or text while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

In Canada, all provinces except Alberta and New Brunswick have banned both talking on cell phones and texting while driving. Canada’s territories of the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories have no bans as of yet. In the United Kingdom, any use of a mobile phone is illegal, including while stopped at traffic lights. The one exception in the U.K. are emergency calls to 999 or 112.

Other ways to prevent distracted driving include: Avoid eating and drinking while driving your car or other vehicle.

Never attempt to read while driving, including a map. If you need to look at a map, pull off the road.

Avoid “multi-tasking” while driving, such as adjusting the radio or CD player.

Don’t groom while driving, such as putting on make-up, shaving, brushing your hair, etc.

Don’t try to change clothes while driving, or attempt to remove your coat.

Avoid a lot of interaction with passengers. Remember that emotions can interfere with driving. It’s best not to drive if you’re angry or upset. Wait until you’ve calmed down to drive.

Keep music at a reasonable level and avoid using headphones.

Don’t drive when sleepy.

Driving really does take all of our concentration. Even daydreaming while driving may cause you to become distracted. Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, stay alert and focused.


 


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