A whopping 60,800 tickets were issued to distracted California drivers in April 2012
Between the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state, 57,000 tickets were issued during Distracted Driving Awareness month, for driving while using a handheld cell phone or texting, and another 3,800 for additional distracted driving violations which could include eating, grooming, programming a GPS, and other functions.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing that the problem of cell phone use for talking and texting while driving is not going away anytime soon,” said California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) Director Christopher J. Murphy. “There are those who understand the dangers and have curtailed their use, while others think the hazards apply to everyone else but them.”
The ability to safely multi-task while driving is myth. While many people know texting while driving increases crash risk, the lack of understanding about the risks of phone conversation, even hands-free, while driving remains a challenge. Talking on hands-free or handheld cell phones requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely while driving.
To explain the limitations of the human brain when multitasking the National Safety Council (NSC) released a white paper, “Understanding the Distracted Brain: Why driving while using hands-free devices is risky behavior.“
It only takes a second to swerve a few feet.
Swerving out of your lane to the left could put you in line of another vehicle coming in the opposite direction. Swerving to the right could cause you to hit a pedestrian or another car slowing down to turn right. Big trucks do not have the ability to stop or swerve to miss a car that unexpectedly swerves into their lane.
Looking away for only a second, you could miss seeing the motorcycle in front of you or one that is splitting lanes next to you.
Looking away for only a second is all it takes to potentially cause serious injuries to yourself or another person – or worse – even death. One teenage driver currently under arrest said the distraction of a hand-held cell phone caused her to fatally hit a 44-year-old jogger.
April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month and May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. The consistent message here is to be aware of the distractions that take your mind and eye off the road, even for that nano second.
Common sense tips to protecting yourself from distracted driving:
> Put your cell phone out of reach when you get in the car so you won’t be tempted to use it.
> Mention on your outgoing voicemail message that you won’t answer when you are driving.
> Don’t call or text anyone when there is a good chance that they may be driving.
> When you must call or text, pull into a parking space.
> Never eat, groom, program a GPS, check Facebook, run an app, read or otherwise allow your full attention to leave the task of safely driving.
Share the road. Drive safe.Filed Under Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Safety, children, motorcycle safety, wrongful death