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April is Distracted Driving Awareness month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month
MGN-Online
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POSTED: Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 2:04pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 2:17pm

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and “Talk, Text, Crash” is a slogan used to get people’s attention about the dangers of operating a vehicle while using an electronic device.

There are many forms of distraction in a vehicle including: eating, smoking, talking to a passenger, grooming, using a navigation system, adjusting the radio, or reaching for an item in the vehicle.

Most people associate distracted driving with operating a cell phone and rightly so.

Statistics support the fact that the use of cell phones while driving is injuring and killing people. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA):

  • Drivers who use handheld devices are 4 times more likely to be in a crash with injuries
     
  • Drivers who TEXT and drive are 23 times more likely to get involved in a crash
     
  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%
     
  • Bluetooth cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use
     
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55mph-of driving the length of an entire football field.
     

Last year in Texas, 90,378 (increase of over 9 thousand) crashes involved distracted driving, driver inattention, or cell phone use and 453 of these were FATAL crashes

All of us are prone to the convenience of the cell phone or smart phone while in a vehicle. It is the goal of your local law enforcement agencies to educate the public of the dangers of talking or texting while driving. In Texas, you cannot operate a cellar device while driving in a school zone. Also, if you are a new teen driver, you cannot talk or text on a cell phone for the first year of driving. Currently, 39 states in the US ban texting and 10 states ban handheld cell phone devices all together.

Take the time to put your cell phone down while operating a motor vehicle, educate others, and set the example. Causing the injury or death to a person or yourself is not worth a status update, a text or an email on your phone… Talk, Text, Crash.

For more information go to www.nhtsa.gov or www.distraction.gov.

The safety of our community does not have borders. It is the goal of every law enforcement agency to protect the citizens that we serve. Be the eyes and ears of your police department. When you see suspicious activity contact the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600, the Texas A&M University Police Department at 979-845-2345, or the Bryan Police Department and the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office at 979-361-3888. Together we can make a difference in our community.

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