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Traffic Talk: Distracted driving can lead to disastrous consequences

Don Gammill: Anything you can think of that takes the driver's attention away from the road can lead to danger and often sad results.
By DON GAMMILL, dgammill@opubco.com Published: February 11, 2013
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From the time you were a young child, you were taught to “pay attention.”

Whether it be Mom, Dad, a teacher, or someone else providing valuable insight, you were told to focus on what was being presented.

When you began driving, the “pay attention” instruction came into play again, and for good reason. In driving, it's an absolute must.

You have to be aware of what is happening around you.

In fact, anything you can think of that takes the driver's attention away from the road can lead to danger and often sad results.

Here, from an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report I saw, is one such incident that occurred last week.

The troopers who investigated the accident said it happened early evening on a county road, out in the country.

A midsize car, with a young couple in front and two small children in the backseat, was traveling the road.

The adults each wore seat belts; the children were in child restraints.

Troopers said the couple began arguing about the radio and the man, who was driving, reached over to change the station. He took his eyes off the road just long enough for the car to strike a curve in the bridge.

The air bags deployed, but the 28-year-old driver still suffered leg injuries.

He was treated and released at a nearby hospital. His 30-year-old wife also had leg injuries and was admitted to the hospital.

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