Reckless and careless driving

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MASON CITY, Iowa – Once we get in the car, most of us are ready to get where we need to go.

Sometimes it’s almost as though you don’t even realize you’re in the car — and that can lead to carelessness behind the wheel.

“What I consider to be reckless or careless driving would be texting and driving, not paying attention to your surroundings, not using your blinker,” Lizzie Rasmuson of Forest City said.

“I think the biggest problem we have with careless driving is texting, looking at screens while you’re on the road,” Barbara MacGregor of Mason City said.

When it comes to distracted driving, it seems using a cell phone is one of the most common offenses.

“When we’re driving, we see people weaving from lane to lane, so often we notice they have their phones out, checking a call or texting,” MacGregor said.

According to the Auto Insurance Center’s report, Iowa and Minnesota rank low when it comes to the worst states with reckless and careless drivers.  Being at the bottom in this study is a good thing.

“Factors we see generally more in North Iowa is not so much careless or reckless driving, more consider aggressive driving, which would be following distance violations, bad passing, high speeds, speed violations,” Joe Scott, a trooper with Iowa State Patrol, said.

Iowa ranked higher compared to Minnesota when it comes to number of driving deaths involving alcohol, but Iowa saw less deaths than Minnesota caused by speeding.

“People need to give a better following distance to the vehicles in front of them, if they give themselves a better following distance naturally you slow down a little bit, which helps speed violations.  Don’t pass when you shouldn’t pass. Stop signs are there for a reason,” Scott said.

And if you are someone who drives distracted, it might be time for a change.

“I’ve had to talk to, text or call people, so that’s a habit I’m trying my hardest to kind of switch over to the talk to text or call,” Rasmuson said.

Montana leads the U.S. for the highest number of reckless driving deaths. The number one factor in those fatal crashes is when someone failed to buckle up.  New York and California were the two states with the lowest number of reckless driving deaths.

To take a look at the study, visit http://www.autoinsurancecenter.com/fatal-crash-causes.htm.

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