April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In 2013, DMV's California
Traffic Safety Survey reported more than 426,000 hand-held cellphone and
texting convictions, with more than 57,000 tickets issued in April 2014
alone. That's a lot of drivers who are not paying attention to the
road and who are making the road dangerous for the rest of us. The same
study showed in 2014, 61% of California drivers surveyed said they had
been in an accident or nearly been in an accident caused by a driver who
was talking or texting on a cellphone. That statistic is frightening.
Here's another frightening statistic from the survey: In 2014, 53%
of drivers admitted to making a driving mistake while talking or texting
on a cell phone.
Is it really worth it? In 2014, nearlly 40% of California drivers surveyed
thought texting or talking on a cellphone while driving posed the biggest
safety problem on California roadways and more than 50% said that texting
while driving is the most serious distraction for drivers.
My hope is that Distracted Driving Awareness Month will get us talking
about this problem. We know its wrong, and we don't like it when we
see someone else talking or texting and not paying attention tot he road.
But it seems the urge to pick up the phone when you hear that text message
chime is just irresistable. Put the phone down. Better yet, shut it off
in the car. Just drive.