Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted Driving Kills and Injures

As a part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, DRIVE SMART COLORADO wants to remind drivers to:

Be Smart: It is illegal for anyone in Colorado to text while driving (even while sitting at a stop light)

Be in Control: It is your phone and you decide when to send or receive calls and texts. No call is worth dying over.

Be Caring: Never send a text message to anyone who you think is likely to be behind the wheel.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. With ever increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks at once is something we all face daily. The CSPD and their traffic safety partner, DRIVE SMART COLORADO, would like to remind you about the dangers of using cell phones - handheld or hands-free - behind the wheel.

Nationally, in 2012, 3,328 people were killed and approximately 421,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. (NHTSA) In Colorado, in 2013, the Colorado Department of Transportation conducted a study of 24,022 drivers and of those 15.6 percent of the drivers were found to be distracted. Distracted driving includes things such as: eating and drinking, personal grooming, pets, passengers and reading.

One of the most widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage. According to a Carnegie Mellon study, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent and a report from the National Safety Council found that people talking on cell phones or sending text messages cause more than one out of every four traffic crashes.

Text messaging is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction - visual, manual and cognitive. In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving.

So the next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,328 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once. A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s.

While those numbers may sound like just statistics, they’re anything but. They could be parents, children, neighbors and friends from right here in Colorado Springs. There are too many stories of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else.