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DrivingWhether you thank it or blame it, today’s technology means we’re busier than we’ve ever been. And that “10 things at once 24/7” pressure even extends to drivers trying to multi-task behind the wheel. But if you’re taking phone calls, texting, and engaging with your passengers, you’re not being efficient - you’re being a menace to other drivers and a magnet for car crashes.

Tips to help you eliminate distracted driving.

What Is Distracted Driving?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website, distracted driving isn’t limited to the obvious culprits like texting while driving. In reality, distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that may distract from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing or other serious auto emergency.

Anything that takes your eyes, or mind, off the road is a distraction, including:

Using a cell phone

Eating and drinking

Talking to passengers

Grooming

Reading, including maps

Using a PDA or navigation system

Watching a video

Changing the radio station, CD, or Mp3 player

It’s no surprise that cell phones top the list of distracting activities for drivers. But as the number of cell phone owners increases, so does the risk of car crashes.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into serious cars crashes.

New Distractions Tempt Teen Drivers

Many states have enacted graduated driver’s license programs (designed to limit driving times and the number of passengers) along with cell phone bans and zero tolerance laws in an effort to keep teens safer on the road and reduce the number of car crashes. However, many teenagers remain tempted to text and drive, placing the group at the highest risk for distracted driving crashes. In fact, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers is the under - 20 age group. Sixteen percent of all under - 20 drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted while driving.

Straight talk about cell phone use - especially texting while driving - is an important discussion for parents and teens. That’s why we created www.allstateteendriver.com - to help parents and teens use resources, interactive tools, and games to fight back against distracted driving.

What Can You Do to Eliminate Distracted Driving?

When it comes to using your cell phone and driving, the best strategy is the simplest: don’t do it. But if you absolutely must take a call, a hands-free cell phone device helps cut down on the distraction - and the risk of a trip to the body shop, or worse.

Here’s another simple rule: keep both hands on the wheel at all times. Activities that require using your hands - things like answering the phone, eating, pushing radio buttons, rummaging through a bag-are all dangerous distractions that compromise auto safety.

Additionally, activities that take your eyes off the road-like reading a map or text message - also compromise your auto safety priorities. Look away for 5 seconds at 55 miles per hour and you’re driving the equivalent of a football field while effectively blind. When traveling somewhere new, be sure to familiarize yourself with the route before you leave. And resist reading that text message while you’re driving - it can wait until you’ve safely arrived at your destination.

Your Auto Insurance Shouldn’t Be a Distraction

Make sure you have the most auto insurance protection at the best price. Get an easy no-obligation quote, call us at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828), or find an agent near you to see how dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like Allstate.

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