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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month 

4/18/2012   
Picture:Driver Texting While Driving 

 

Increasingly, texting has become the way many people communicate. American teens send and receive an average of 3,300 text messages per month—more than 6 texts every hour they are awake. Sending texts or email messages while driving is extremely dangerous, as it draws a driver’s eyes, mind and hands away from the road.

Texting while driving is also illegal in Minnesota! This includes composing, reading, or sending messages or accessing the internet on a wireless device when the vehicle is in motion or part of traffic. Cell phone use is totally banned for teen drivers during their permit and provisional license stages. On average, texting causes drivers to look away from the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, the vehicle travels the length of an entire football field while the driver isn’t looking.

In Olmsted County, distracted driving caused 7.1% deaths, 10.3% serious injuries, and 26.1% of all injuries. Drivers texting while operating a vehicle not only display slower reaction times and have difficulty staying in their lane, but also are less likely to see:

  • High and low relevant objects
  • Visual cues
  • Exits, red lights and stop signs

Drivers using cell phones behind the wheel miss half of the information in their driving environment. Texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 8 to 23 times.

Drivers who type or read text messages contribute to at least 100,000 crashes each year, leading to thousands of preventable deaths. Take the pledge today to stay cell free while on the road so you are not responsible for the senseless death of another human being. No text is worth a life.

Information provided by Olmsted County Public Health, Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, AT&T, and Office of Traffic Safety website-A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

 

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