April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Do you use a cell phone while driving? Did you know that it’s illegal to text and drive in the state of Tennessee? According to AAA, an astonishing 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35 percent of them admitted to doing it anyway. But the problem is not limited to teens alone.
Tennessee Highway Patrol is using this month as a way to raise awareness of the issue, but also as a time of increased enforcement of the texting and driving law. Using a semi-truck usually used to haul equipment for their traffic simulator, THP is going undercover, using it as a perch to spot texters and others violating distracted driving laws.
While the penalty for violating the texting law is merely $50, the dangers of texting and driving should be enough to dissuade drivers from engaging in this act. It only takes a few seconds for texting to cause an accident. On average, a driver who is texting takes his or her eyes off the road for five seconds at a time. At 55mph, a car can travel the length of a football field in those five seconds. Imagine that – driving blindfolded down the length of a football field and hoping not to hit something or someone.
Do your part to end the epidemic of distracted driving. Put your cell phone somewhere where you can’t reach it while driving. Present a positive role model to your children and encourage them to spread good driving habits when they notice their friends texting and driving.