From WOOD COUNTY SAFE COMMUNITIES
Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been four fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2018, compared to five for the same time frame in 2017.
At some point, many of us have witnessed a distracted driver; they are often easy to spot. Some reading this article may even admit to driving distracted in the past. With so many individuals tuned in to smartphones, distracted driving has become one of the most common causes of fatalities on the roads.
This scenario provides an example of why Safe Communities of Wood County is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reach all drivers with an important warning: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
According to NHTSA, in 2016, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Nearly one-tenth of all fatal crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-affected. Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials.
According to NHTSA, young drivers, ages 16 to 24, have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. “We can’t say it enough: distracted driving is a life or death issue,” said Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator for Wood County. “What people need to understand is how dangerous it is to take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and concentration off the task of driving safely. It only takes a few seconds for a child to run into the street or for you to drive through a red light or stop sign and crash, potentially killing someone or yourself. That’s why during April, the police presence on Ohio roads will increase. Anyone who is caught texting and driving will pay.”
“Too many drivers are ignoring their responsibilities behind the wheel,” said Wiechman. “Do the right thing—put your phone away when you get behind the wheel.