April Distracted Driving Month

We all hear it about the dangers, we all know about the dangers and we all know someone affected by it, so why do so many continue to still do it?

Texting, Using a cell phone or smart phone, Using a navigation system (hand held or vehicle installed), Adjusting a radio, IPod, CD player or MP3 player, Reading (including maps), Eating & drinking, Personal grooming, Kids, Emotions, Exhaustion, Illness, Thinking of things other than driving, Looking at wildlife.

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. If you are texting you are not driving! As of December 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. (CTIA, The Wireless Association) Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. So how many of us drive 55mph on the highways and how many of us want to drive blindfolded with all the traffic in our community? So why are so many doing it?

According to Montana OPI, the 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey indicated: 61.3 % of Montana youth talked on a cell phone while driving and 55.8% texted while driving. These are young inexperienced drivers. Are they doing it because adults are setting the example or are parents not making the rules needed to keep our kids and community safe?

In March Jozi Moore talked with students at local schools to help bring awareness to youth on the dangers of Texting & Driving. On April 27th at 7:00 pm at the County Extension Office there will be a public presentation on Distracted Driving. You as part of the community are encouraged to attend and find out what we can do as adults to stop this epidemic and make Richland County Safer.


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