As we enter the month of April, the Washington State Patrol (WSP) is reminding drivers to put their phones down and focus on the road.
Nationwide, law enforcement agencies are working on their own Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaigns. In Washington, agencies like the WSP are promoting state-specific events and crackdowns targeting motorists who drive while distracted.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,522 people died in 2021 across the country because of distracted driving. In Washington, about 30% of all deadly crashes registered yearly are caused by distracted driving. In order to raise awareness of the problem and prevent accidents, WSP officials are increasing patrols for distracted driving offenses this month.
The goal is to help change drivers’ attitudes toward distracted driving, helping them to change their habits and stay focused throughout the year.
Distracted Driving Accidents In Washington Are Easy To Avoid, Troopers Say
Discussing the extra patrols, officials told news outlets that Washington drivers can avoid getting tickets or provoking accidents by simply storing their phones out of reach of their hands before driving.
Other distractions that lead to accidents can also be avoided. They include eating and drinking, performing personal grooming activities such as putting on makeup, dealing with loose pets in the backseat, talking with passengers, using other electronics such as GPS or in-car infotainment systems, etc.
Put The Phone Away Or Get A Ticket
Through the month of April, drivers should be prepared to be pulled over if they continue to ignore the state’s distracted driving law, WSP said. Parents are especially encouraged to focus on the road and set a good example for their children.
As we help shape the next generation of Washington drivers, we must show them that using the phone while behind the wheel goes against state laws and poses a danger to everyone on the road.
Avoid Seattle Distracted Driving Accidents By Following These Tips
WSP Troopers urged drivers to follow a series of safety tips to prevent driving while distracted accidents well beyond the month of April. They include:
- If you need to make a call or answer a text message, pull over, park the car in a safe location, then proceed to pick up your phone.
- If you have passengers in the vehicle, put one of them in charge of answering calls or texts while you drive.
- Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that when you’re driving, you will not be answering your phone.
- If you’re the passenger in a vehicle and the driver is distracted, warn them of the consequences of such actions and tell them to stop.
For more on what the WSP is saying about distracted driving and the potential consequences, follow this link.