The dangers of driving distracted are well documented. Yet, millions of Americans continue to risk their lives and other people’s every single day. 80% of all collisions on US roads are caused by distracted driving. This figure means that more than 4 million crashes could have been avoided if drivers were paying full attention while driving. One of the most common distractions is using cell phones while driving, especially texting. This not only poses a risk for the person behind the wheel, but is also hazardous for other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
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In frontal impact collisions, seatbelts and airbags are intended to protect us from serious injury. In addition, in rear impacts, it is the seatback that serves as the restraint system. The seatback and head rest are intended to hold the head and torso in place when a vehicle is struck from behind. However, seatback failures occur all too commonly in rear impact collisions, often resulting in catastrophic injuries to the occupant as well as anyone sitting in the seat behind.
That bicyclist you nearly hit when you were rushing to work, the store, or church on Sunday morning was someone’s relative: a mother, wife, daughter, husband, or son. They were just trying to get some exercise outdoors. Bicyclists have the right to be on the roadway, just like other road users. Of course, they must also obey the same traffic rules as other road users, but so should drivers when encountering a cyclist.