The holidays are here once again, and for many people that means significant travel. Spending the holidays with friends and family can mean lengthy drives. If you plan to drive this year, please take a few moments to consider the dangers of distracted driving.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is exactly what it sounds like: the practice of operating a motor vehicle while you are distracted. This distraction could take many forms: fiddling with the radio, talking to children, eating, trying to read a map, and so on. Of course, with the spread of smart phones and the widespread use of texting technology, a major contributor to distracted driving is texting while driving.

Why is Distracted Driving So Dangerous?

Think back to the first time you sat behind the steering wheel. You were probably a bit nervous, and you undoubtedly put 100% of your focus and attention on the road. However, as time passed, you became comfortable driving, and that is where the danger is.

Even though you may be comfortable driving your vehicle, remember that you are operating a heavy piece of machinery traveling at a very high rate of speed. When you are moving at 70 miles per hour, you will travel 105 feet in a second. This means it will take about 3 seconds to move the length of a football field. If you take your eyes off the road for even a moment, the results could be devastating.

Keep in mind that, even without distractions, your reaction time means you don’t respond immediately to dangers. If you add in the complications that come from distracted driving, any unexpected dangers could quickly ruin your holiday.

So please, if you are driving, keep your eyes on the road. Pull over if you must read or respond to text messages. Your friends and family will be glad that you did!