[4/4/18] April Is National Distracted Driving Month

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April is National Distracted Driving Month.

Each day, 10 people die in distracted driving crashes, contributing to the 37,000 people killed in crashes on US roadways last year- that according to the National Highway Safety Administration.

Contrary to what some drivers might think, hands-free, hand held and in vehicle technology are still very distracting, even when the driver’s eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel.

Recent traffic safety research found that drivers who text while behind the wheel more than double their odds of being involved in a crash.

Here are some tips to stay safe while on the road:

-turn off your phone and other electronic gadgets

-choose a designated texter. A passenger to answer incoming calls, send or respond to text messages and to assist with navigation when the vehicle is in motion.

-If you are traveling alone, there are several apps that tell others you are unavailable because you are driving and prevents audible notifications.

-If you really want to be part of the solution: don’t call or text someone you know is driving.

Under Washington’s new E-DUI law- driving under the influence of electronics, that took effect last July- drivers cannot hold cell phones, or watch videos while driving, stopped in traffic or at a stop light.

The law includes tablets, lap tops, games or any hand held electronic device. Hands free use is restricted to a single touch.

Violating Washington’s distracted driving law can be costly. You’re first E-DUI ticket is $136. A second ticket within five years doubles that fine. Compounding your punishment, information from cell phone infractions is now available to insurance companies, which could influence your premiums.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports that nearly 1500 Washington drivers have been ticketed each month since the law went into effect.