April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Do you talk on the phone or eat while driving?
Distracted driving is still a big problem in the state of Washington say officials with the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. The commission says more than 150 law enforcement agencies in the state including Yakima are involved in an educational campaign this month to help drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving. This is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and thousands of people every day continue to risk safety by talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. In 2017 the State of Washington passed what's called the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act (E-DUI).
In 2016, the year before the law passed, 155 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2019 the most recent information available, two years after the new law, 33 fewer distracted driving-related deaths happened. Traffic safety officials also estimate that Washington’s driver distraction rate was 6.8 percent in 2019, based on the 2019 Statewide Distracted Driving Observational Study.
Cell phones remain the greatest source of distraction, with two of every three distracted drivers in Washington observed either using or talking on a hand-held phone. The observational study also found slightly more people distracted on city streets than county roads or state routes.
State officials say 30% of all fatal crashes still involve a distracted driver. 23% of all serious crashes are due to distracted drivers and 70% were found to be using cell phones. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month a time when law enforcement and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission try to educate drivers about the danger of driving distracted.