JOPLIN, MO.--- It's estimated that in 2012 more than 400,000 people were injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers, and that another 3,300 were killed. Inattentive driving is the second leading factor in wrecks in Joplin, following number one - those who fail to yield to the vehicle with the right of way. Within the list of distractions causing accidents, there's a wide variety. Cell phones are high on the list, along with passengers and general external distractions. The top five rounds out with eating or drinking, and adjusting the music.
"When you're driving in heavy traffic, those distractions that you have can really contribute to that. You know, you need to allow yourself enough room to provide adequate stopping distance, limit your distractions and look both ways before you pull out in the road," said Sgt. Rusty Rives, Joplin Police Department.
Joplin police saw a drop in wrecks last year, logging fewer than 1,800 reports. Numbers are also down in January, a total of 123 which is the lowest for the month in more than seven years.
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