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Video: The Dangers of Distracted Driving

CARS.COM — O...M...G...... Oh, hey! Sorry, I didn't notice you there — I was distracted by my phone, which is no big deal if you're shooting a TV segment. But when you're behind the wheel of a car, distraction is something to be mindful of.

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Each year, more than 3,000 motorists are killed and more than 400,000 are injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. Overall, distracted driving is implicated in 1 out of every 5 traffic collisions. Those figures are even higher for teens.

It's hardly surprising these days, what with everything from smartphone apps to text messages to in-car multimedia systems competing for your attention. Ironically, while a full three quarters of drivers support bans on handheld devices, half still reported answering incoming calls and 25 percent to placing calls.

And don't kid yourself with the ol' hands-free excuse. Studies have shown that hands-free calling and voice-to-text are just as distracting as, or more so than, handheld devices.

Remember, just because an automaker put a feature in your car doesn't mean it's safe to use while driving.

Here's a checklist of things to do to decrease distractions while driving:

  • Adjust your seats, headrests, vehicle controls and mirrors, and fasten your seatbelt, before moving.
  • Keep tempting distractions like your phone outta sight, outta mind and outta reach.
  • Enter your destination in the navigation system or consult your directions before driving.
  • Avoid eating or drinking.
  • No texting, phone calls, photos, or Pokemon Go.

Now it's time for me to get outta here and start practicing these safety tips ... But first, let me take a selfie.