April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Image of someone texting and driving

Date:     April 3, 2015
Subject: National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Hey, keeping both hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road is simple, right? Wrong! Simple driving fundamentals go right out the window when a driver is distracted.

In recent years, hundreds have been killed and thousands injured in California due to a driver that was driving distracted. Any type of non-driving activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the primary task of driving is a distraction. According to research, sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eye of the road for 4.6 seconds. Even a three second glance, at normal freeway speed, means a driver has traveled the distance of a football field. The ticket cost for a first time texting or hand-held cell phone violation is $162 with subsequent tickets costing about $282.

In recognition of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, here are some tips to help you stay focused while driving and minimizing behind-the-wheel distractions:

-Never: talk, text, email or use apps your cell phone while driving. Remember, IT'S NOT WORTH IT! Better yet, turn off your phone and place it out of reach as soon as you get in the car!
-Never call or text anyone else when you think they may be driving, especially if you're a parent trying to reach your kid.
-If a call or text absolutely can't wait, pull over into a safe spot and conduct your business safely.
-Never reach for anything dropped on the floorboard, back seat or other side of the car.
-Conduct grooming activities at home.
-Eat before your leave the house, or stop along the way to grab a bite.
-Adjust all radio controls and set your song playlist before you hit the road.
-Listen to -don't watch- GPS devices and make sure to input your destination before leaving or stop to change your route if necessary.
-Never take notes, look at a map or dig around in your purse, glove box, or in the backseat while driving. If necessary, find a safe spot to pull over and stop the vehicle before looking for something.

The Mono County Sheriff's Office wants to remind everyone to please drive safely throughout the roadways of the Eastern Sierra! Distracted Driving just isn't worth the consequences! Be safe! - Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer