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In recent years, there’s been a great deal of attention paid to the issue of texting and driving, and with good reason: keeping your eyes on the tiny keyboard in front of you instead of the highway ahead just don’t mix well.  However texting is just the most recent addition to a long line of conspirators that lead to distracted driving and road to disaster.  U.S. Department of Transportation estimated in 2009 that 5,474 people were killed on America’s roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted driving. In two years that number is sure to have escalated.

Penske Automotive Group would like to help you avoid falling into the category of distracted driving.

  • Are you keeping your eye on the road? With cars more than ever resembling mobile offices and massive entertainment centers, it can be easy to forget the reason you’re behind the wheel.
  • Are you awake/alert enough to drive? Driver fatigue leads to driver inattentiveness.  Approximately 100,000 crashes are caused each year by drivers literally being asleep at the wheel. Recognize the signs of drowsy driving, which include difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, irritability, and frequent yawning and then, take action.
  • Is your cell phone conversation more interesting than the road ahead? Even if your home state doesn’t have hands-free-cell phone rules it is really worth considering making it a habit.
  • Do you have a designated deejay? Simple things like changing the radio dial or finding that “perfect song” on your iPhone may seem harmless, but they’re a big distraction. Let your co-pilot handle the jams.
  • Are you being lazy about changing lanes? It’s critical you look briefly over both shoulders before changing lanes. Even with onboard technology installed in the car, such as blind spot and rear view indicators, the basics learned in driver’s education always apply: signal your intention, check your mirrors, and then glance back both ways to be certain you are clear.
  • Are you day-driving or daydreaming? Even without external distractions, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about personal problems or work assignments. It is easier said than done but trying to check your problems at the car door and lend your full attention to the road.

Distractions can cut your reaction time in half. Since most accidents occur in seconds, you need all the time you can get. Therefore, consider these pointer when you’re behind the wheel.

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