Police out in force watching for distracted drivers

Police out in force watching for distracted drivers

If you're still driving while texting or scrolling through Instagram, listen up: The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has announced enhanced patrol of distracted driving April 2 through April 14. That means, on average in 2017, there were 958 distracted driving crashes per week.

Higgins said it's a challenge enforcing distracted driving because of things like rush hour traffic and understanding what device is being used. Nearly half of those using the phone are using a handset, with more than a third either texting or emailing while behind the wheel.

Distracted driving research confirms it only takes a few seconds for a child to run into the street or for a driver to miss a red light or stop sign leading to a crash that may leave someone dead.

- Drivers interacting with cell phones to perform tasks like texting or surfing the Internet are two to eight times more likely to be involved in a crash.

"They got a woman going down 40 East, and she was taking selfies of herself going down the roadway", said Tennessee Highway Patrol Sgt. Randall Martin.

Distractions have three forms: visual, taking eyes off the road; manual, taking hands off the wheel; and cognitive, taking the mind off driving.

"We're proud to partner with AAA on this important campaign", said Bob Stuart, Hertz Executive Vice President of Global Sales.

Not only are parents almost as bad as their teens when it comes to distracted driving, but Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (2016) found that 50 percent of parents have knowingly texted their teen while they are driving, and 29 percent of parents expect a response before their teen reaches their destination.

The survey revealed 88 percent of drivers believe distracted driving is on the rise, ahead of aggressive driving (68 percent), drivers using drugs (55 percent) and drunk driving (43 percent). Distracted driving is topping the list of dangers on the road.

Sgt. Joe Farrell of Cape Breton Regional Police Service traffic unit said one of the more serious charges related to speeding is stunting.

At any moment, nationally, about 660,000 drivers are using cellphones or manipulating electronic devices while driving; a number that has held steady since 2010, according to the Federal Communications Commission. They'll be on high alert, focusing efforts on catching drivers who are talking or texting.

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