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Put Down the Phone

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, nearly 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 irresistible. Put the phone down. Better yet, shut it off in the car. Just drive.

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