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Distracted drivers need to get focused

Like most big cities, Chicago, Illinois, has an enormous number of vehicles on the roads. This, of course, correlates with a substantial number of motor vehicle accidents each year. While current inclement weather is making driving more dangerous, there is something else that is making driving dangerous too, and that is distracted driving.

Distracted driving has become a particular problem in recent years due to mobile phones being ubiquitous and their usage by drivers while in transit being common. A recent study by Cambridge Mobile Telematrics revealed the shocking information that almost one in every four drivers who was involved in a crash was using a mobile phone within one minute before the crash happens. That suggests that in some cases, the drivers were on the phone at the exact moment that the crash happened, and in other cases may have still been distracted at the time of the crash by whatever they were talking about on the phone right before the crash happened.

The same study showed that among trips that concluded in a crash, 52 percent of them involved distracted driving. The most dangerous distracted driving spots in Chicago were drop-off areas for Midway and O'Hare airports and on Solidarity Drive between the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum, among other high-traffic places. The chief technology officer of Cambridge Mobile Telematrics says that distracted driving is a dominant factor in whether or not a particular vehicle is in a crash, making distracted driving a major problem for those in vehicles. It's also a problem for pedestrians as well, as according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there was an 11 percent increase in the total number of pedestrians who were killed in 2016 compared to those killed in 2015.

Drivers can solve the problem by staying off their phones and other devices while driving. Ultimately, as drivers, your responsibility is to protect those around you and that requires staying focused.

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