Law enforcement react to distracted driving awareness month

Law enforcement react to distracted driving awareness month
April is distracted driving awareness month. Photo credit: WDAM

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This month is designated in order to remind drivers of the dangers of driving while distracted.

In 2014, over 3,000 people died in accidents involving a distracted driver. That's according to the U.S. department of Transportation.

Officer Nate Robertson of the Petal Police Department said it is important to remember how dangerous it is to text while driving.

"If you're traveling over 55 miles an hour, the average text takes five seconds to send," Robertson said. "So if you look down for five seconds at 55 miles an hour, you're going to travel the length of a football field basically blindfolded."

Texting is not the only form of distracted driving.

"If someone is thinking about a song that they want to look up, they'll just look it up at that time," Robertson said referring to downloading music while driving.

Other examples of distracted driving can include talking on the phone, checking e-mails and eating food.

Police officers respond to allegations of distracted driving every day, and Robertson said "it's a hard argument."

Robertson added that something as simple as a radar "can be considered a distracting device" but "if you're in law enforcement, you're going to have a higher skill set in driving altogether."