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Distracted Driving: It Can Wait

Have you taken the pledge to drive distraction free? Distracted drivers have claimed more than 20,000 lives between 2012 and 2017. Using a cell phone is one of the most common and most dangerous distractions when driving. However, anything that pulls your hands from the steering wheel, your eyes from the road, or your concentration away from driving is considered distracted driving.

Even though it's against the law to text and drive in nearly every state, people still do it, especially novice drivers. Millennials are the generation most likely to text while driving. The largest percentage of drivers in fatal crashes as the result of distracted driving are in the 15-19 age range. In 2015, one of every 10 crash fatalities was caused by distracted driving.

Several organizations are encouraging drivers to take a distraction-free driving pledge. AT&T has a pledge and an It Can Wait campaign. The National Safety Council has an online pledge that you can take in honor of a loved one. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has educational materials, a quiz and an online pledge.

When you take the pledge you are promising to avoid all of the following:

Have a phone conversation - handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth

Text or send Snapchats

Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle's dashboard system

Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo or other social media

Check or send emails

Take selfies or film videos

Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)

Call or message someone else when I know they are driving

Whether you take the actual pledge or just commit yourself to putting your phone away and giving your full attention to driving, your efforts increase your safety as well as the safety of everyone else on the road.

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