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Don't let distracted driving ruin your summer

For teens and young adults, the summer months are often met with a youthful exuberance: several months off school, the ability to have fun with friends, a carefree lifestyle until school starts up again. Unfortunately, too many young drivers allow themselves to be distracted by the technology at their fingertips or their friends in the back seat.

According to statistics compiled by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), more than 100,000 traffic crashes in Texas each year involve distracted driving. These distractions can range from taking your eyes off the road to grab some food to looking down to dial a phone number. One of the deadliest activities, though, is texting while driving.

TxDOT cites a report by Texas A&M Transportation Institute that found that 21.2 percent of drivers said they had read or sent text messages or emails while driving. Reading or responding to text messages while behind the wheel is the most dangerous distraction drivers can engage in. During the course of the activity, drivers will remove their hands from the steering wheel, remove their eyes from the road and allow their minds to be fully engaged in an activity other than the task at hand.

With many more young drivers on the road during the summer months, it is important to increase your attention level. While it might be impossible to account for every driver and every distraction, you might be able to protect yourself by being hyper vigilant on the road. Focus on the drivers around you at every moment. Learn to keep your head on a swivel by checking your mirrors at regular intervals. Give an extra cushion of space between you and the cars around you to account for their sudden braking or lane changes.

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to discuss the collision with an experienced personal injury attorney. You can learn more about your legal options through a consultation.

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