Texting not the only dangerous use of smartphones while driving

By now, most drivers in the United States should know that distracted driving is a killer. Numerous studies have shown that distracted driving -- and particularly texting while driving -- can be just as dangerous as operating a motor vehicle while drunk.

And while Tennessee law bans texting while driving, you probably don't have to look far to see someone on the road violating that law. In fact, two years ago about 420,000 people in the U.S. were injured, and 3,154 people died -- all in distracted-driving crashes.

To illustrate just how widespread the problem is, consider a poll that AT&T commissioned. As part of its "It Can Wait" campaign, the phone company had a research institution survey 2,067 smartphone users.

Of those respondents, 61 percent admitted to texting while driving. But that isn't the only dangerous smartphone activity to which drivers confessed. Thirty-three percent said they emailed while behind the wheel; 28 percent said they did Internet searches while driving; and 27 percent said that using Facebook was one of their behind-the-wheel activities.

Other dangerous driving activities included use of Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, including taking selfies.

The reality is that safe driving requires cognitive, manual and visual focus. Using a smartphone also requires all of those kinds of focus. Which will it be, then? Paying attention to the road, or putting life and limb at risk by using a handheld device while driving?

If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, then don't hesitate to speak with a personal injury attorney about your options for obtaining compensation. To learn more, please visit The Gold Law Firm's Tennessee distracted driving overview.

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