Safety officials share National Distracted Awareness Month message

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 10:45 AM CDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - April is National Distracted Awareness Month.

Through the entire month, expect to see law enforcement agencies doing distracted driving enforcement operations.

Their goal: save lives and stop crashes.

In 2019, drivers between the ages of 15-19 accounted for the most killed in fatal accidents caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Officials said thanks to the state’s hands-free law, there’s been a decrease in traffic deaths involving a distracted driver — and they want it to remain that way.

“Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to remind you of all the things you do inside your vehicle that takes your focus (off) the roadway, such as messing with radio, talking with someone in the car, paying attention to something that is going in the other lane, such as a crash of some type. We want you to be aware of all of those things because when you take your eyes off the road, you could increase your chances of having a crash of doing so because you are not paying attention to what is going on there,” said Powell Harrelson, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety law enforcement services coordinator.

To help prevent distracted driving crashes, officials advise:

  • Putting phones on “Do Not Disturb.”
  • Adjusting GPS before hitting the road.
  • Making sure to store loose items so they don’t move around when driving.
  • Refraining from eating behind the wheel.
  • Pulling off the road to safely park if there is a distraction.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.

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