Distracted driving is costly in many ways

About 20 years ago, an email began being circulated claiming the U.S. Postal Service soon would charge an internet service fee to make up for business lost to email.

It was bunk, of course. But sending or receiving electronic messages could cost you $150.

That’s the fine for texting or emailing while driving.

Because, while the phone might be smart, too often, drivers are not. Distracted driving accounts for 16 percent of fatal crashes, according to AAA, causing about 5,000 deaths per year.

For teens, it’s worse. AAA states nearly one out of 10 drivers ages 15-19 involved in fatal acidents were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.

Distracted driving includes texting, emailing and any activity that takes a driver’s eyes off the road or hands off the wheel. That includes eating, drinking and manipulating a GPS system or sound system.

AAA offers advice to cut down on distracted driving:

When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting away your phone.

Speak up when you see a friend or family member driving while distracted.

Listen to your passengers; if they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.

Driving while diastracted can be deadly, and getting caught texting while driving can be costly. Save money, save a life, save it for later.

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