National Distracted Driving Awareness Month headlines April road safety program

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2016)–State and local law enforcement officials will be paying special attention to drivers during the month of April, which has been designated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency as National Distracted Awareness Month.

According to police officials, most drivers are aware of distractions involving handheld mobile devices which are most often associated with distracted driving. But other distractions include taking ones eyes off the roadway or hands off the steering wheel and engaging in activities that include cell phone use (texting and talking), grooming, using a PDA or GPS device, changing music in your vehicle, eating, and even talking to passengers.

The NHTSA compiled a list of stats that demonstrates the dangers of being a distracted driver which include:

  • People who text while driving are 23 times more likely to die in a crash.
  • Reaction time is 30 percent worse while texting and driving. Studies show a driver texting spends an average of 10 percent of the time outside the correct road lane.
  • A driver whose eyes are off the road while traveling at 55 mph covers more than the length of a football field in five (5) seconds, the average time it takes to look at a text message.
  • In (2014), 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured due to distracted drivers.
  • Ten percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash.

Effective July 1, 2011, it became illegal to type, transmit, or read e-mail or text messages on a communication device while driving in Indiana.

On July 1, 2015, Indiana law were changed to prohibit Indiana drivers under the age of 21 from using cell phones and other communication devices while driving, except for 911 emergency calls.

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