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7 Most Dangerous Things To Do In Your Car

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winter driving - by flickr user Hey Paul

winter driving - by flickr user Hey Paul

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As you might already know, cars aren't exactly the safest way to get around.

Based on miles traveled, taking the car is many times more dangerous than taking a train and several times more dangerous than an airplane or bus. Yet we still take the car, right? For convenience—and driving enjoyment, in some cases—it's unbeatable.

And considering safety, there's a lot you can do to help minimize your chances of being in an accident. It's estimated, from federal data, that about 20 percent of all crashes are directly caused by some sort of distraction; that distraction can take a wide range of forms—mostly from things we're not supposed to be doing behind the wheel like eating, texting, or even putting on makeup.

And if you have several somewhat distracted drivers together? That's a recipe for disaster.

Keep your eyes on the road, both hands on the wheel. Here are seven things that you could do to make your time in the car even more dangerous:


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Comments (5)
  1. how come you didn't mention sex in a car as a danger. I have 3 kids because of that dangerous practice
     
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  2. For every 6 seconds a driver spends texting, 4.6 of those seconds are with their eyes off the road, which makes texting the most dangerous cell phone activity anyone can engage in while operating a 5,000 pound piece of steel and glass. This activity produces 6,000 highway deaths a year and that number is rising. If technology is going to help, it should get the driver's eyes back on the road where they belong.
    I decided to do something about it after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver last fall. Instead of an expensive shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user (especially teens) I built a tool called OTTER that is a simple GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. Its an easy way to manage that text and drive temptation.
    Erik Wood, owner
    OTTER LLC
    OTTER app
     
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  3. I tried Otter, was less than thrilled. The problem to me was never that the phone was going 60 miles an hour, it was that the Audi was going 60 miles an hour. Otter's "passenger" override response makes it too easy to override even when driving. more of a reminder than a solution.
     
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  4. The other bad thing to do while driving is FOLLOWING TOO CLOSE! such as is shown in the winter driving picture in the article.
    I have travelled with otherwise smart, intellectual, skilled drivers who would speed up to the lead car, put on their brakes, speed up again, put on brakes....
    Not only does this wear out the car (and the passengers) but is truly unsafe and eats up your possible fuel mileage. Using the brake is anti-mileage, coasting is relatively free.
    Try paying attention and driving without having to use your brake except at traffic lights (that you have coasted up to) and other necessary times, not because you speed up and now need to brake because you were not paying attention, but were texting, eating, calling, petting, etc.
     
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  5. While I very much appreciate your article and the attention to all driver distractions here, the point about studies showing eating/drinking being as dangerous as cell phone use is not true. Eating and drinking certainly can be a distraction and can contribute to crashes, but not as many crashes as cell phones and other distractions. Plus, when people are eating, drinking, turning to talk to kids in the back seat, etc. they are aware that they are distracted and try to minimize the time spent doing these things. Unfortunately many people don't know about the conversation distraction on cell phones so they don't minimize the time they spend talking on phones while driving. This is an issue that increases the time they're exposed to crash risk.
     
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