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Distracted driving and car accidents: Facts you should know

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to dismiss the information on distracted driving provided by public service messages and other venues. These campaigns often feel so distant and so far removed from the reality of daily life that few people really pay attention to them.

Perhaps a good dose of facts can help Michigan residents understand how distracted driving may affect their own lives. The facts below pertain to Michigan, which may paint the situation in a more realistic light.

-- More than 7,500 distracted driving car accidents occurred.

-- Twenty-eight people died in car accidents involving some form of distracted driving.

-- Over 750 distracted driving accidents involved the use of a cellphone.

-- Over 3,400 injuries were suffered in car accidents involving distracted drivers.

-- More than 40 percent of young drivers admitted to regularly using electronic devices while driving.

Clearly, distracted driving is a problem in Michigan. Too many citizens have died or suffered horrible injuries in what should have been preventable car accidents. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the human brain takes 27 seconds to refocus its attention after changing music, dialing a phone or sending a text via voice commands.

This means that preventing distracted driving car accidents is actually easy. All motorists must do is focus on the road, the car and their surroundings instead of anything else.

The next time you see one of those public service campaigns about the dangers of distracted driving, pay closer attention. If everyone did this, it could help reduce distraction-related car accidents. Another way to create change is by holding the person who caused the car accident responsible through the legal system.

Source: Michigan State Police, "Distracted Driving Fact Sheet," accessed July 13, 2017

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