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One hand on the wheel and the other on a … shopping list?

Conscientious Nebraska drivers routinely – and thankfully – negotiate their way through traffic on state streets and highways with full attention on the task.

That is, they watch the road. They don’t tailgate. They don’t whiz by other vehicles at excessively high speed. They appropriately use their turn signals.

And they don’t engage in online shopping.

Some readers might reasonably think that it is patently obvious that motorists don’t do anything so ludicrous as that and, therefore, senseless to even make the point.

Here’s the thing, though: Reportedly, millions of American drivers do indeed get their shopping done while motoring through traffic. The Travelers Companies 2019 Risk Index (an annual and quite literal state-of-the-road survey issued by that insurer) underscores that about 15% of motorists across the country sometimes shop while driving.

Indeed, they do far more than that, as many varied sources addressing the scourge of distracted driving have underscored in recent years (including our March 1 blog entry). They eat, they groom, they play with their pets, they focus on musical selections and freely engage in numerous other activities that dangerously take their attention away from the deadly serious matter of driving.

Take texting and sending emails, for instance. Those behaviors are routinely spotlighted in focuses upon distracted driving. The Travelers survey truly reveals their frightening dimensions, though. The company stunningly reports that nearly half of all surveyed drivers admit to typing texts and/or emails.

And more than a fifth of them say they occasionally take pictures or record videos while in motion behind the wheel.

There is a breaking point concerning such activities, and it certainly has to be near. Legions of drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians are badly injured or killed by distracted drivers every day.

Perhaps better education and the passage of laws providing for more stringent enforcement against distracted driving can materially dampen this threatening activity and one day eradicate it entirely among the motoring public.

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