NATIONAL DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH

From Shasta County Health and Human Services:

SHASTA COUNTY – April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road. It also includes taking your hands off the steering wheel, especially when texting or using your phone. Texting is the most dangerous distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for approximately 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

Holding and using your cell phone while driving is not only dangerous, but also illegal. In 2017, 3,166 people in the United States were killed as the result of distracted driving. During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Many states now have laws against texting, talking on a cell phone, and other distractions while driving. In California, you cannot use a cell phone or similar electronic communication device while holding it in your hand. You can only use it in a hands-free manner, such as speaker phone or voice commands. Any driver under the age of 18 is prohibited from using a cell phone for any reason. Breaking any of these laws is considered a primary offense, which means you can be pulled over for violating these driving laws.

Learn more about distracted driving at: www.distraction.gov

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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