If you are traveling anywhere this holiday season, expect to have some company on the road — about 107 million fellow travelers according to AAA. Just over 97 million are expected to drive and another 6.4 million will be flying.

The holidays are a busy time and drivers are already distracted by their phones, auto technology and passengers. Throw in thousands of shoppers or pedestrians who are texting or talking and you can see the dangers rise exponentially.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 3,477 people were killed and another 391,000 injured by distracted drivers in 2015. According to the Property Casualty Insurers of America (PCI), distracted driving, particularly the pervasive use of mobile phones behind the wheel, is one of the primary reasons for the increase in vehicle crashes across the country. An online Harris Poll conducted for PCI found that distracted driving was the leading cause of the increase in auto accidents even though most adults know not to text or talk while driving.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to PropertyCasualty360.com, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]