In Louisiana, a distracted driver can cost lives and property. There may be no other action that is as dangerous as being behind the wheel and focusing on other things instead of the road ahead. A distracted driver is not only a threat to other vehicles or pedestrians on the road and adjacent property, but also to the driver’s own life as well.

It is important for every driver to understand that the focus must not be diverted away from the primary task of driving the vehicle. Every second a driver spends without eyes directly on the road could threaten every passenger, bystander and other vehicle on the road, not to mention the driver’s own safety.

Distractions may come in many forms. For instance, texting, talking on the phone, engaging in conversation with others in the car, eating, drinking and grooming are all forms of distractions while driving. Other distractions involve reading books and maps, concentrating on a satellite navigation system, watching videos in the car and adjusting the car radio or music player, among other things. According to various reports, texting is the most dangerous of distractions performed by drivers because it uses a person’s cognitive function along with visual function.

The easiest way to put an end to the epidemic of distracted driving is by educating drivers about the dangers. Education will not only help improve driver performance overall, but it will hopefully save many victims from injury or death in the future. An astounding 421,000 individuals were injured and 3,300 people lost their lives in car accidents due to distracted driving in 2012. Every driver and passenger must join with authorities to curb distracted driving.

Source: Distraction.gov, “What is Distracted Driving?” Accessed on Nov. 19, 2014