You’ve seen it, I’ve seen it and we’ve probably done it one time or another. A car behind speeds impatiently past, as you pull up behind them the light turns green they sit. The car in the fast lane on the freeway driving 55 mph. As you go around them, they’re looking down, not at the road, but at their cell phone! The car in the next lane drifts into yours, as you pull up next to them their putting on makeup, eating, fumbling for a smoke, or has a dog in their lap.
At any given day across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones, manipulating electronic devices while driving, or fumbling with something reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. This number is rapidly on the increase and we’re all at risk with this deadly epidemic.
No wonder April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. 3,154 people were killed in 2013 and an estimated 424,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes that involved distracted drivers. Though statistics used to be more at younger drivers, this is quickly changing.
Studies show hands-free devices are no safer because the brain remains distracted by the conversation. When talking on a cell phone, drivers can miss seeing up to half of what’s around them, such as traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrians.
Moral of the story ‘May we have your attention please?’ Especially when driving!
For more safe driving info visit: www.distraction.gov
Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna