Distracted driving is a huge issue on Missouri roads. Many people associate it with cell phone use, but it can occur in a variety of situations. According to the United States Department of Transportation, distracted driving is anything that takes your attention away from the road. In 2017, almost 3,200 people lost their lives in accidents caused by distracted drivers. It is a serious problem that requires more recognition. You cannot just chalk it up to cell phone use while driving and think that because you do not use your phone in the car that it cannot happen to you.

There are many things that can take your attention away from the road and from driving when you are in a vehicle. While cell phones are the newest distraction and often the reason for accidents these days, distractions may also take the form of less obvious things. If you are eating or drinking, this could distract you, especially if you spill on yourself. Changing the music you are listening to also removes your attention from the road. For parents, dealing with children or even pets while driving can lead to distraction.

All it takes is a few seconds for something bad to happen. When you take your eyes off the road or your mind is not focused on driving, you are unable to react properly. If a car pulls out in front of you, you would not see it in time to stop and avoid a collision. If an animal darts in the road or a person steps in to the road, you cannot react in time. You are traveling at a high rate of speed, so you are moving quite a far distance in only about five seconds. Imagine what could happen, and you will see why distracted driving is such a problem. This information is for education and is not legal advice.