Distracted driving is a major issue in most states of the country. Nevertheless, drivers continue to use their phones to text or call and ignore the risks associated with the practice.
In several states, law enforcement agencies are coming up with different ideas to target distracted drivers that could help to make roads safer.
In Minnesota, the Minnesota State Patrol is adding five new unmarked cars to its fleet. This move could help law enforcement agents by allowing them to patrol drivers without catching their eye. Something that could make them less likely to put their phone down simply to avoid getting a ticket.
Many officers across the country complain that several drivers will drop their phones if they see a patrol car. With unmarked cars, officers will be able to identify these drivers before they are able to avoid being seen. And a greater number of distracted drivers will end up being pulled over for doing something the law doesn’t allow.
In 2014, distracted driving was linked to 7,000 injuries and 61 deaths. According to local law enforcement agencies, the past three months produced at least two deadly crashes that might be linked to distracted driving as well. If drivers are not able to learn from officers and from other drivers’ experiences, they will continue to use their phones while behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is deadly.
In Minnesota, law enforcement says that the number of distracted drivers has been dropping since 2008, which is when the state’s texting while driving law was enacted.
To many safety advocates, the State Patrol’s effort could prove beneficial even if drivers are not being caught in a higher rate.
The idea that there are unmarked cars on the road that may be driven by officers looking for distracted drivers will make drivers act differently, avoiding accidents by focusing on the road ahead at all times.
If you’re a driver and you’re concerned about car safety, keep in mind that distracted driving is deadly. Put your phone down and remember that distractions are not only associated with phone use.
Talking to passengers, handling pets or children in the back seat, reaching out to catch fallen objects, eating, drinking, or performing personal grooming activities may lead to distracted driving accidents.
Remember that a text message can wait, safety should always come first.
For more details on this effort and how the State Patrol is gearing up to make Minnesota roads safer, follow this link.