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Top 5 causes of distracted driving

Many people consider distracted driving the single biggest problem facing drivers on the road today. That spot used to go to drunk driving, which is still a serious issue, but you now have a lot of distracted drivers who make the same mistakes: running red lights, drifting into oncoming traffic, not stopping in time, not reacting to traffic ahead of them and much more.

In order to really understand how and why distracted driving got this bad, you need to consider some of the top causes of distraction in the car. Here are five of them:

1. Texting

Reading a text or sending a text can put you in danger. Any time you spend looking down at your phone is time you do not look at the road. This can increase your reaction times and make you miss crucial and obvious things -- like stop signs.

2. Eating

Eating in the car is mostly about boredom or convenience. You either do not have enough time in the day, so you have to eat on the go, or you get bored on a long drive and eating sounds like the perfect way to distract yourself from that boredom. However, it also distracts you from the road.

3. Using social media

When people talk about using the Internet in the car, they often mean checking social media. Thanks to the smartphone, you can do it anywhere, at any time. You're always connected. The downside here is the same as texting: You end up watching the screen instead of the road. Any social media apps increase your risks, from Facebook to Instagram to Reddit.

4. Turning on the music

Listening to music is something of a distraction in its own right, even though most drivers do it. But perhaps worse is the act of finding the music and turning it on. You can do this on the radio, on a CD, on a phone playlist or through an app. No matter how you do it, it takes your mind off of driving while you search for the right song.

5. Feeling fatigued

Even when you do not fall asleep, fatigue itself can be a serious distraction. You can't concentrate. Your mind wanders. Your reaction times get worse. The longer you try to push forward, the more fatigued you get.

If you get in an accident

You may get hit by a distracted driver, and you could suffer serious injuries if you do, even if you avoid the distractions noted above. When this happens, do not speak to the insurance companies --- speak with a lawyer in Waterloo first.

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