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Making distracted driving socially unacceptable

Even though there are still people who will get behind the wheel while drunk, drunk driving is still seen as morally reprehensible. There are not many people willing to make excuses for people who drive drunk, but when someone is driving while distracted by a cellphone or some other kind of electronic device, some people are willing to give him or her a pass. The problem is, however, that distracted driving is incredibly dangerous and can cause the same types of injuries and death on New York's roads that drunk driving can.

There are safety professionals across the country who are trying to cut down on the number of distracted drivers, and one of the main suggestions is to make distracted driving just as socially unacceptable as drunk driving.

One of the ways to do that is by encouraging others to remind drivers to put their electronic devices down while driving. Passengers should feel comfortable telling their drivers to not use the phone while driving. Individuals who receive calls from people driving can also tell drivers to call them back when they are done driving. Basically, the more societal pressure that is put on drivers to stop driving while distracted, hopefully the less likely they will be to use their phones while driving.

For those who have some difficulty in controlling their impulse to look at their phones, safety professionals recommend turning the phone off or putting it on vibrate or silent before getting in the car. If that still doesn't prevent a driver from checking his or her phone, he or she can put the phone in the trunk.

Source: The Tennessean, "Experts highlight ways to reduce distracted driving," Josh Brown, April 28, 2014

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