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Despite deaths and warnings, distracted driving continues

Many people in Reno, Nevada, have probably heard at least one warning about the obvious dangers of distracted driving. As smartphones and other technology become more and more prevalent, it has become increasingly important to remind motorists that one can simply not safely multi-task. Dialing or searching the internet for instance, while operating a motor vehicle, is dangerous, period.

However, despite all the warnings, it this country's distracted driving problem is only getting worse. According to one study, which observed 12,000 drivers, the incidence of drivers using their phones, that is, without a hands-free device, has increased by about 57 percent between 2014 and 2018.

Significantly, this is a time period well after smartphones were a new phenomenon. This means that it seems people are, for a number of reasons, just choosing to ignore the fact that distracted driving is dangerous or are simply willing to assume that risk.

The results of distracted driving, particularly when it involves a cell phone, are often fatal. One government agency dedicated to traffic safety estimates that 3,166 people died in 2017 on this country's roads, precisely because of distracted driving. As some point out, this number may not even give the full picture of the problem since it does not account for cases in which a driver does not admit to distracted driving, and police do not uncover evidence of such behavior.

In any event, it appears that Nevada drivers, like their counterparts around the country, are not reducing their dangerous driving behaviors. We have a way to go when it comes to avoiding texting and driving, talking on the cell phone and other behavior that can no doubt lead to serious car accidents.

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