It’s common knowledge that accidents caused by distracted driving are a problem in Florida and elsewhere, though the discussion tends to focus on cellphone use behind the wheel. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, smoking a cigarette while driving might be more dangerous.

The National Institutes of Health found that on average, people who smoke behind the wheel are more distracted than people who use a cellphone. According to its report, smokers averaged 12 seconds of distraction, which is the equivalent of traveling 525 feet without looking at the road. In comparison, cellphone users averaged 10.6 seconds of distraction.

Transportation experts also worry about the risks of drivers dropping cigarettes in their laps while driving — a mistake that could lead to injuries from an accident or fire.

Several states, including Arkansas and California, already ban smoking while driving when children are in the car, largely because of health concerns. Could banning smoking behind the wheel be the next distracted driving fight?

 

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