Distracted Driving Responsible for Multiple Death in Kansas City

The Kansas City Missouri Police recently released its figures for 2010 traffic fatalities in the city. According to a recent story by WDAF-TV, a total of 68 people died in car accidents last year. That is a small increase over 2009. More startling is the rise in single-vehicle accident deaths. Of the 68 fatalities, 29 did not involve another vehicle. That is a significant increase from the previous year, according to the WDAF story.

Police said that 17 of the 29 who died were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. They list distracted driving as the cause for the other twelve. Distracted driving can include using a cell phone to text or access the Internet, looking at a GPS device, or even using a map.

The WDAF story quotes a co-owner of a driver education company. The educator said that people tend to feel safer as they gain experience behind the wheel. Sometimes, that leads drivers to take dangerous risks like taking their eyes off the road. Even a few seconds spent staring at a cell phone screen can make a big difference. At highway speeds, a vehicle can travel the length of a football field in five seconds. A car accident takes just three to four seconds to happen.

Some car accidents are unavoidable. There is only so much you can do to avoid having a reckless driver hit you, and sometimes a patch of ice you did not see can leave you out of control. But distracted driving is something every driver can choose not to do. Keeping your focus on driving is one of the best things you can do to avoid an accident.

Source: WDAF-TV, “More Drivers Dying Because of Distractions, Police Say,” Meredith Hoenes, January 3, 2011

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